Dharamshala: Sikyong Penpa Tsering received an in-person audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama earlier this morning at His Holiness’ residence at Tsuglagkhang. Sikyong updated His Holiness on his recent official engagements in England and North America including the major developments and activities undertaken by the 16th Kashag since his last audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in December last year.
Sikyong apprised His Holiness of his maiden visit to England on 30th-31st January where he covered a wide range of engagements with media, think tanks, students and staff of Oxford University as well as interacted with Tibetan compatriots to raise awareness of the Tibetan situation inside Tibet and outside. Following his engagement in the UK, Sikyong partook in a series of meetings with Congressmen and Senators in DC to particularly solicit their support in enacting the Tibet Bill. He interacted with several prominent supporters and friends of Tibet in Washington DC. It was during his continuous official engagement in DC, the Tibet bill was re-introduced in both Houses of the US Congress.
Following the reintroduction of the Tibet bill, Sikyong met with Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Jim McGovern at the Capitol building on 8 February. He also met with long-time Tibet supporter Congressman Christopher H. Smith, the incoming chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC). During those meetings, Sikyong provided updates about the situation inside Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and CTA’s plans to resolve the Tibet issue. Along with the high-level meeting with lawmakers and government officials in DC, Sikyong took the opportunity to meet with the heads of the PRM and USAID, two of the largest sources of funding received by CTA for the implementation of political and welfare programs in exile. An in-depth discussion was held between Sikyong and the two to strategise a future course of action.
Following his conclusion of engagements in Washington DC, Sikyong Penpa Tsering visited Tibetan communities in Colorado, Utah, Portland, and Seattle in the US, and Vancouver, Victoria Island, and Alberta in Canada. During those interactions with the public, Sikyong highlighted the determined efforts of concerned Lawmakers in enacting the bipartisan and bicameral Tibet Bill. Furthermore, he briefed the undertakings of the 16th Kashag and its political and administrative schemes for the coming years, which includes plans for the sustenance of Tibetan settlements and empowerment of CTA staff, among others.