Journey of an Exile Tibetan Leader: From Harvard to Dharamsala

The Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities are pleased to re-share a very candid interaction of Dr. Lobsang Sangay, former Sikyong, President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), from 2011 to 2021 (aka Tibetan Government-in-exile), with his academic audience at Harvard University Asia Centre, as part of the Tsai Lecture Series.

Dr. Lobsang Sangay,
Photo: Harvard University

Sangay’s latest public engagement is believed to be an open account of his personal aspiration, challenges, opportunities as well as securing solutions to China-Tibet conflict as top elected leader of the Tibetan Government-in-exile, since leaving his two-terms in office as the Sikyong.

Watch this full speech delivered on March 8, 2023, at the Harvard University Asia Center, by Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Former Sikyong (President) of the Central Tibetan Administration and Senior Visiting Fellow, East Asian Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School.

About the Lecture Series: The Tsai Lecture Series, established in 2000 with a generous endowment from Felix Tsai, allows the Asia Center to invite notable leaders in academia, government, business, and other professions to Harvard. The annual lecture is open to the public, and it offers perspectives from a range of disciplines and different regions in Asia. Past speakers have included the late Surin Pitsuwan, former Secretary-General of ASEAN, Pritzker Prize-winning architect and humanitarian Shigeru Ban, internationally renowned human rights lawyer, and advocate Asma Jahangir, the Honorable Caroline Kennedy, and the Honorable Kathleen Stephens. 2021 Nobel laureate Maria Ressa delivered the most recent Tsai Lecture in May 2022.

Biography of the speaker: Lobsang Sangay is a Senior Visiting Fellow at East Asian Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School. He was a democratically elected Sikyong (President) of the Central Tibetan Administration and served two terms (2011-21). Lobsang completed his BA and LLB from Delhi University. He did his LLM ’95 and SJD ‘04 from Harvard Law School and received Yong K. Kim’ 95 Memorial Prize for excellence in dissertation and contributions to the understanding of East Asia at the Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, akin to track III, he organized seven rounds of meetings/conferences between Tibetan, Western and Chinese scholars most notably, the first ever meeting between HH the Dalai Lama and 25 Chinese scholars and students.

He was a researcher for the report “Tibet: Human Rights and the Rule of Law”, published by the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, Switzerland (2008). He also published Legal Autonomy of Tibet: A Tibetan Lawyer’s Perspective, in the Journal of East Asia and International Law and “Education Rights for Tibetans in Tibet and India,” in John D. Montgomery, ed. Human Rights: Positive Policies in Asia and the Pacific Rim, SOKA University Press. He wrote an article, Tibet: The Exile’s Journey published in the Journal of Democracy (2004). He was selected as one of the twenty-four Young Leaders of Asia by the Asia Society (2006). He has spoken at international conferences such as Forum 2000, Halifax Security Forum, and Oxford Union. He has written numerous Op-eds in major newspapers including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and appeared on many international TV networks like BBC and CNN.

He was awarded the Gold Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Public Discourse, College Historical Society (CHS), Trinity College, Dublin (2014) and Salisbury University Presidential Medal for Distinguished Community Leadership (2015). He has visited various capitals and parliaments around the world and played an important role in the passage of Tibetan Policy and Support Act 2020 signed by the United States Government.

He was most recently a lecturer at the Harvard Law school in the Fall of 2022, teaching a class on China and Tibet and presently teaching a reading group on Tibet at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Source: Harvard University Asia Centre

Author: Tsering Passang (Tsamtruk)

NGO Professional | Activist | Author | Founder and Chairman, Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM)

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