The President of Central Tibetan Administration Dr. Lobsang Sangay seeks Tibet support in New Zealand. Speaking to a News Channel in an interview he said that circumstances in Tibet and old age of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has led him to assume the leadership of Tibet for all administrative purposes. The purpose of his visit is to seek support of New Zealand in their fight against the Chinese government which has tightened the control in Tibet particularly in the matters of religion.
Bringing the focus to the deteriorating situation in Tibet he said,”The situation in Tibet is tragic. As we speak Larung Gar monastery is being destroyed,” he said.
The Larung Gar monastery is among the largest monasteries in the world and attracts thousands of Buddhist monks and nuns every year.
The number of monks at the monastery will be drastically reduced from 12,000 monks and nuns to 5000. This has forced many of them to leave the place. Pictures and videos have surfaced on internet showing the wooden buildings at the monastery which have been bulldozed to the ground now.
“New Zealand got its freedom supported by others, and the values that it fought for – the basic values of democracy and human rights – are the values that we are fighting for,” said Sangay, who is on his first visit to New Zealand.
The Harvard graduate had left a lucrative career in USA behind to follow in the footsteps of His Holiness by serving the Tibetan diaspora. The Dalai Lama had devolved his political responsibilities and passed on to the administrative head of the Tibetan Government in exile in 2011. This is his second term as the Political head or Sikyong. The President himself has had to bear loss of relatives in Tibet because of oppressive Chinese rule. His uncle was shot dead and his aunt committed suicide unable to bear daily injustice.
He also said that Tibet has been an independent country and even China has recognized that. Speaking further he said that his Holiness wants a genuine self-rule for the people of Tibet. He also said that he is very hopeful that one day the Dalai Lama will be able to visit Lhasa.
After the Tibet bill in US congress this visit of Sikyong marks a change in the silence that the world has seen in the recent years. From being a popular cause championed by many in the 90s, Tibet has now been out of news in the western media for many years.