DHARAMSALA, Aug 13: The incumbent Sikyong or the elected political head of the Tibetan people, Dr Lobsang Sangay announced that he will contest for the Sikyong 2016 elections but stated that he’ll formally announce his candidacy Sep 2 which coincides with Tibetan Democracy day.
He made the statement while answering questions from a Tibetan reporter at a press conference held in Dharamsala on Aug 12 to inaugurate and launch two new initiatives of the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR), CTA.
To another question by an Indian reporter regarding his candidacy, Sikyong Sangay replied in the affirmative and extended his best wishes to the other candidates.
“Yes, I am contesting this time and I wish all the other candidates very best of wishes because the position of Sikyong is of major responsibilities. Anyone who aspires to be Sikyong will have tremendous responsibilities, hence as a Tibetan you have to wish anyone who wants to be Sikyong the very best,” Sikyong Sangay said.
Prior to the questions from the journalists, the Harvard graduate Sikyong launched a new documentary video on Middle Way Approach (MWA) in Tibetan language and a mobile app for Tibet TV at the press conference.
The video and the mobile app is an initiative of the Audio/Visual section of the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR), CTA. The Secretaries of DIIR, Mr. Sonam Dagpo and Mr. Tashi Phuntsok were present at the release function.
Addressing the gathering, Sikyong Sangay said: “It’s been about two years since we started the campaign to raise greater awareness on MWA following a survey conducted by the Planning Council a few years ago that brought to the Tibetan administration’s notice that only 51% of the Tibetans in exile have a thorough idea on the concept and aspirations of the MWA. In June 2014, a press conference was held and later through various mediums, including TV, internet and literature explaining the concept of MWA, considerable awareness was raised on the international platform. A short video, made available in English language by the DIIR containing statements in support for MWA made by eminent scholars such as Robert Thurman, Dr Anand Kumar and Dr Thupten Jinpa among others, was instrumental in the campaign’s success. Later, the need for a similar video in Tibetan language was felt after visits by the Kalons and Secretaries to schools, monasteries and the Tibetan settlements to raise awareness on MWA.
So this new video in Tibetan language has been realized, thanks to the DIIR. It contains explanation and support for MWA expressed by prominent Tibetan Buddhist teachers, former Tibetan political prisoners and Nobel laureates. I hope that this new video will raise deeper understanding and support for MWA among Tibetans in exile.”
“A new mobile app called Tibet TV has also been created by DIIR. Considering the extensive usage of smart phones by Tibetans and increase in the viewership of Tibet Online TV, the new apps has been created with the hope to make information about CTA, happenings in Dharamsala and His Holiness the Dalai Lama easily accessible to Tibetans. DIIR has done a commendable job and I extend my appreciation for their effort,” Sikyong Sangay added.