DHARAMSHALA: At the invitation of the Himachal Pradesh University in Shimla, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay delivered a talk on ‘Democracy in Exile: The Case of Tibet’ as part of the University’s Lecture series on 23 November.
The lecture was presided over by Vice-Chancellor Shri A.D.N Bajpai of the university. It was attended by more than 200 students and staff from the university. Health Kalon Dr Tsering Wangchuk was also present.
Acknowledging the support of the Indian government and people towards the Tibetan community, Sikyong said the Tibetan people will always be indebted to India for its help in their time of need. He talked about the rich historical and cultural ties that India and Tibet have shared for centuries.
Speaking about Tibetan democracy, he said the Tibetan democratic system is similar to the Indian political system as the Tibetan charter is influenced and emulated from the Indian constitution and parliament. He also talked about his personal and political journey from being a Tibetan youth activist to being a Harvard scholar and finally as the Sikyong, the democratically-elected political leader of Tibet.
Sikyong Dr Sangay talked about the implications of ecological disturbances in the Tibetan plateau on the whole world, especially on Asia and the riparian countries that survive on Tibet’s rivers. “Tibet is being called the third-pole today due to its rich ice reserves. The thawing of these reserves feed the various rivers of south and south-east Asia like the Indus, Satluj, Brahmaputra, Yangtze, Kiang and Mekong, he said.
He also talked about the devolution of political authority by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to an elected Tibetan leadership and the current political situation inside Tibet. He emphasised on the non-violent methods of the Tibetan movement including the wave of self-immolation protests that has swept Tibet since 2009.