IT IS SAMDHONG RINPOCHE
20 August, 2001: The result of the election of Kalon Tripa or the Chair of the Kashag was declared today making Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche Lobsang Tenzin the first elected Kalon Tripa of the Tibetan Government in exile.
In a release the Chairman of the Election Commission, Central Tibetan Administration said, “This is to announce that in accordance with Article 69 of the Tibetan Election Regulations, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche Lobsang Tenzin, former Chairman of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies, has been declared elected as Chair of the Kashag (Cabinet) of the Central Tibetan Administration.”
Of the total votes casted on 29 July 2001, Samdhong Rinpochen got 84.54% or about 29, 000 votes. Jochen Thubten Namgyal, the other candidate won about 12% of the votes and around 4% of the votes were invalidated.
The counting began on the 16th of this month and was completed by the next afternoon. The result was then presented to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The date for oath-taking ceremony of the new Kalon Tripa will be set later.
A brief biography of Samdhong Rinpoche
Venerable Prof. Samdhong Lobsang Tenzin, the 5th Samdhong Rinpoche, was born on 5th November, 1939 in Jol, Eastern Tibet. At the age of five, he was recognised as the reincarnation of 4th Samdhong Rinpoche and enthroned in Gaden Dechenling Monastery at Jol. At seven years he took the Getsul vows from Khenchen Dorjichang Kyabje Sangbhum Rinpoche. He received his primary teaching from scholar Ngawang Jinpa when he was nine. He started his religious training at Drepung Monastery in Lhasa and completed his (Uma Nyinpa)- middle school of the Madhyamika School of Buddhism at the age of 12. He came to exile in the year 1959 after the Chinese invasion of Tibet.
In the year 1960, he started his service in the Tibetan Community by beginning as a teacher to monks from the Sera, Drepung, and Gaden monasteries. From October 1961, he served as the religious teacher of Tibetan School in Shimla, and later becoming the acting principal of Shimla Tibetan School in 1963. Then again he worked as religious teacher of Darjeeling Tibetan school in 1964.
From 1965 to 1970 Samdhong Rinpoche was the Principal of Dalhousie Tibetan School. He received his Lharampa Degree in the year 1968 and Ngagrimpa Degree in 1969. From 1971 to 1988 he was the Principal of Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS, Varanasi). From 1988 to 2001 he worked as the Director CIHTS. In 1990, he was a member of the Drafting Committee Constitution of the Future Polity of Tibet and Law for the exiled Tibetans. From 1991 to 1995 he was specially appointed by His Holiness as one of the deputies of ATPD and later was unanimously elected as its Chairman. From 1996 to 2001 he was elected member of the Parliament from Kham province and also its Chairman.