Deborah Fleck, The Dallas Morning News | February 14, 2016
Like his good friend the Dalai Lama, Lobsang Sangay has a sense of humor.
At a World Affairs Council program Friday at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, Sangay said he always compares the size of Tibet to California and Texas combined. He’d been to California before, but never to Texas.
“Now, I’m finally here so I can say I know both places,” he said.
Sangay, prime minister of the Central Tibetan Administration, which represents Tibet’s displaced population, turned serious when talking about efforts to regain his country. Mao Zedong’s Chinese People’s Liberation Army took over Tibet in 1950.
Sangay is hopeful that the administration’s “middle way” approach will work.
“It doesn’t seek separation from China, just autonomy for the Tibetan people,” Sangay said. “It’s not land-focused, but seeks to allow us to govern ourselves and keep our language and culture.”
Tibet, he added, is a vital country that’s important not only as as a buffer zone between China and Southeast Asia, but also environmentally. Its name in Chinese means “Western treasure,” referring to its rivers and minerals.
Sangay, the first Tibetan to earn a Harvard Law School degree, said he is seeking support from the world.
“It’s my duty,” said Sangay, who lived in Boston for 16 years but now is based in India. “We don’t seek vengeance, but justice.”
Sangay is up for re-election as the administration’s prime minister next month. He said the latest polls show him with more than 70 percent of the vote.