BOSTON: Sikyong Lobsang Sangay visited North America from 6 to 19 October. He arrived at Logan Airport, Boston on 6 October, where the members of Tibetan Association of Boston warmly received him.
Sikyong was also received by executive members of New York Tibetan Association and other Tibetan NGOs including regional TYC and TWA on his arrival at New York. Similarly, he was received by Charlottesville Tibetan Association on his arrival at Charlottesville and he also gave public talk to Tibetans.
On invitation from the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Sikyong delivered a talk titled “Tibet – Prospects of a Dialogue” at the Tsai Auditorium, Harvard University on 9 October, where he reiterated CTA’s commitment to the Middle Way policy and dialogue as a means to peacefully resolve the Tibet issue. In a full auditorium with many Chinese students and scholars, Prof. William Kirby welcomed him and was introduced by his mentor Prof. Henry Steiner. Sikyong said, “China is spending millions on soft power, and Chinese people generally like to be seen as good human beings. But what’s happening in Tibet negates all that. If China wants respect from the rest of the world, and wants to be seen as a peaceful power, they must show it in Tibet.” (Harvard Crimson) The talk was very well received and ended with official dinner hosted in his honor attended by some of the top Buddhist/Tibetan and China experts in the world.
On 10 October, Sikyong gave a talk titled “Tibetan democracy: a model for China & the region” at Columbia University, New York. Prof. David L. Philips, introduced the talk and Robert A.F. Thurman was the interviewer. Later in the day, an “Open Forum with Sikyong” was held during which informal and frank exchange of views were shared with Tibetan students and youth.
On 12 October, Sikyong joined His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s meeting with the Under Secretary of the State Department and the US Special Coordinator on Tibet Mario Otero in Charlottesville. That evening Sikyong gave a talk at the University of Minnesota Law School, to a full house with Chinese students, and others. The topics ranged from reliable media sources to the recent changes in political structure of the Chinese government and what it signifies for the Sino-Tibetan dialogue. He also talked about the escalating crisis in Tibet shown by recent rows of self-immolations and argued that Tibetans must show solidarity and support the demands of the Tibetan people inside Tibet, for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.
On 15 October, Sikyong had a meeting with the Dean of Fletcher School and delivered a luncheon talk titled “Democracy in Exile: The Case for Tibet” at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. The talk was reportedly booked within twenty four hours, and in a frank exchange of views with students from around the world, Sikyong informed about the workings of Tibetan Administration based on principles of non-violence and democracy.
On 16 October, prior to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teaching at the Kurukulla Center in Medford, Massachusetts, Sikyong made an energetic appeal about Tibet to a crowd of almost 2000 people, including the Mayor of Medford and local political leaders. The Mayor of Medford also shared his pride in having a resident of Medford as the political head of the Tibetan people.
On 17 October, Sikyong spoke to a class of leadership and culture at Harvard University’s Kennedy School Of Governance where leaders around world are trained. He spoke about application of leadership and culture in day-to-day governance of the Tibetan administration. The talk was followed by a Q&A session and ended with standing ovation and photo-op.
Sikyong left Boston on 19 October for Europe, where he will be visiting Prague, London and Rome.