New York: Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay completed his official visit to the United States with an address to a large gathering of Tibetans residing in the New York/New Jersey area on November 17. The public talk organized by the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey (TCNYNJ) was held at the Phunstok Deshi Tibetan-American Cultural Hall. There was standing room only as more than 1000 Tibetans came to hear the Sikyong speak on a wide range of issues including a report on his Washington DC and New York visit; the workings of the current Kashag; his Administration’s CAN (Consolidation, Action and Negotiations/Dialogue) strategy; the Middle Way Approach; and the Dolgyal issue. The audience also had an opportunity to submit written questions, which the Sikyong addressed including questions on Chatrel collection, Middle Way versus Rangzen, relocation of the Office of Tibet from New York to Washington, DC, etc.
Mid-way into the Q&A session, the audience gasped in surprise as Richard Gere walked on to the stage. He had come to meet the Sikyong and also made some brief remarks expressing his joy at seeing everyone and reiterating his continued support. Representative Kaydor Aukatsang also addressed the audience. Prior to the Sikyong’s arrival, the audience had an opportunity to view a 30-minute film compiled by the Office of Tibet, which features footage from some of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s recent and important statements.
During his final day in Washington DC on November 15, the Sikyong sat for interviews with VOA Kunleng and Radio Free Asia. During the Kunleng interview, the Sikyong addressed questions submitted directly by Tibetans everywhere. He also met with Senator John McCain and Congressman Sensenbrenner and his senior staff. The Sikyong invited the Senator to visit Dharamsala and the two discussed the latest situation in Tibet. The Senator reiterated his support for Tibet. The discussions with Congressman Sensenbrenner centered on immigration support for Tibetans.
The Sikyong also spent a few days in Boston where he met with several scholars and experts at Harvard University. He also addressed members of the Tibetan community in Boston.
The Sikyong is scheduled to visit Italy for two days before returning to Dharamsala.