By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, June 17: The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in recognition of the democratic accomplishments of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), awarded a citation to the Tibetan political head, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay on 15 June.
The citation was presented to Sikyong Sangay by Mr Martin Frost, Chairman of the Board of Directors, NED, in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and long term friends of Tibet, House minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Mr Richard Gere and Senator Diane Feinstein.
“Our democratic system in exile is the vision of His Holiness and it is an honor to head the democratic institution, this will surely send a strong message of hope and solidarity to the Tibetans in Tibet,” Sikyong Sangay said after receiving the honor.
Trulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a well respected Tibetan spiritual teacher, who died on July 12 last year in Chinese custody, was also honored and awarded the Democracy Service Medal in Washington on the same day.
Geshe Jamyang Nyima, a relative of Trulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche who received the award on Rinpoche’s behalf, thanked the organization for honoring the deceased who spent over 13 years in Chinese prison and said, “Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was a staunch follower of His Holiness’s nonviolent principles and he was arrested by Chinese authorities in 2002 under fake charges. This is recognition for all the Tibetans who suffer in Chinese prisons.”
NED is a U.S. based non-profit soft power organization that was founded in 1983 with the stated goal of promoting democracy abroad.