Lobsang Sangay, An Empty Vessel

A thangka (portrait) of  H.H. the Dalai Lama,  Gyalwa Karmapa,  His Eminence Sakya Trizin  and a photography of Dr. Lobsang Sangay

A thangka (portrait) of H.H. the Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Karmapa, His Eminence Sakya Trizin and a photography of Dr. Lobsang Sangay

By Tendar Tsering (tibettelegraph.com)

Many thought Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, woud be the most revered Tibetan leader next  to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but they were stunned back when Lobsang Sangay, a non-religious figure, a youth, a new face to the Tibetan community came up, and took the Dalai Lama’s position as head of the Tibetan political leader. 

After months of touring the Tibetan settlements in India, Europe and in the United States, Lobsang Sangay had become a people’s person and he won the election in 2011 as political leader of the six million Tibetans.
As he was enthroned as the new political leader– the prime minister of Tibetan government in exile, Tibetans across the world, especially inside Tibet lionized him as “god-king” – few Tibetan pilgrims from Tibet who were at the enthrone-ceremonmy on August 8, 2011 at the courtyard of the Dalai Lama temple in Dharamshala, India surprised the world by prostrating and praying to the new non-religious figure.
Soon after Lobsang Sangay took the Dalai Lama’s seat as head of the Tibetan government in exile, many singers and poets inside Tibet started composing songs, releasing albums praising the new leader, and assuring him trust and support from  Tibet. Even few framed the photography of the new leader in style that only god and goddess are usaully made and sent to him showing their respect and reverance.
In return what did Dr. Lobsang Sangay do? He made empty promises, gave fake hopes, and in between, we lost more than 120 Tibetans burning themselves on fire, calling for the return of the Dalai Lama from exile, and freedom in Tibet.
On several occasions in U.S.A. and India, His Holiness the Dalai Lama had urged the Tibetans across the world to think “twice” before making any protest against the Chinese government saying that the protests could send “empty hopes” to the Tibetans inside Tibet, and thereby, elicit them to embrace more protests against the Chinese government which would lead to more arrest, more torture and more brutality.
In my opinion, Dr. Sangay has given the biggest “empty promise” to the Tibetans inside Tibet that any Tibetan leader can ever do. While taking the political responsibilities from the Dalai Lama, the new Tibetan leader vowed to make sure that the Tibetan spiritual leader would be able to return home within his five-year term as head of the Tibetan government in exile. I think that is the biggest “empty promise” that any political leader can ever make. That fake, fancy promise emotionally black mailed all the Tibetans, and in between what did we achieve— we just lost more than 120 lives of our matyrs burning themselves on fire shouting Dr. Sangay’s promise “return the Dalai Lama to Tibet,” and “freedom in Tibet.”
I think its high time for Dr. Lobsang Sangay to come down to realities, and prepare for the worst. Even after two years of his political leadership as head of the Tibetan government in exile, he couldn’t even resume the negotiation talks with the Chinese government, so how can he make the Chinese leaders come to his terms in next less than two and half years of his leadership?
Before reaching to the Chinese government, and addressing the plight of people inside Tibet, our political leaders in Dharamshala first need to address the plight of Tibetans in exile. One who ignores the plight of people at his door areas will never able to address the plight of people at far distant. If they make any vows, that’s just a lie!
The new Tibetan political leader often expresses his solidarity and support with the Tibetans inside Tibet, and even vowed to specifically address the hardships of Tibetans from Tibet in India. But even after more than two years of his leadership, he has not fulfilled his promises that were made to the Tibetans from Tibet.
When it comes to his leadership, he has three things that he claims them as “success,” and puts to his credit.
First, extension of the R.C. (Residential Certificate) to five years from one year renewalship, but Tibetans from Tibet still have to continue with the annual renewal of Residential or Refugee Certificate, unless they have been living in India for last twenty years.
Second, nursing practice for the Tibetan nurses in India. In a statement, acknowledging the government of India, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Health and the Indian Nursing Council for taking into consideration the status of Tibetan nurses, and deciding favourably for their employment in India, Dr. Sangay noted that he had solved the Tibetan nursing overhaul, but a statement issued by the Indian Nursing Council said only those who were born in India can work in India, so what about those Tibetans who were born in Tibet but grown up and educated in India? The plight still goes on with the Tibetan nurses in India who were born in Tibet. This is the second thing that Lobsang Sangay promised to notably address the grievances of Tibetans from Tibet but in reality, he “discriminately” pushed the problems of people from Tibet aside!
Third thing, transfer of 71 Tibetan schools from the Indian government to the Tibetan government in exile. Under the leadership of Dr. Sangay, now these schools which were formerly founded and run by the Indian government are being run and administrated by the exile government. One thing that Tibetan common masses are unable to understand is Sangay’s policy of forcing exile born Tibetan children to join any of these 71 schools, while leaving the most prestigious Tibetan schools like Tibetan Children Village School – empty.


Dr. Lobsang Sangay in short sounds nothing more than an empty vessel as we know empty vessel makes the most noise— empty vessels, empty hopes, fake promises.
NOTE— Tendar Tsering is a freelance journalist based in Fridley, Minnesota, U.S.A. Previously he worked with several international news portals including International Business Times.