Dharamshala: - Speaking to Tibetans in Gangtok – the Indian state Sikkim's capital – Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay argued the year 2020 is crucial for the Tibetan movement. Specifically, the Tibetan political leader stated Tibetans at that time will face major challenges as a result of a great generational shift.
"The year 2020 would mark 70 years since the invasion of Tibet by the People's Republic of China. At the same time, the generation of Tibetans who have experienced freedom in Tibet before the Chinese invasion would have greatly dwindled," the Sikyong said.
He then spoke about the situation of a people in exile: "The next generation of Tibetan leadership inside and outside Tibet has to cope with a crucial and challenging reality. Tibetans living in occupied Tibet will have no personal memories of traditional Tibet, while Tibetans outside Tibet will know only a life lived in exile."
"So to sustain the movement, it is imperative for the elder generation of Tibetans to pass on their knowledge of Tibet's history and culture to the younger generation," he added.
The Sikyong also spoke on several other topics. These included the 14th Kashag's progress regarding international support for the Tibetan cause, the Middle Way policy that seeks genuine autonomy for Tibet, and the Central Tibetan Administration's scholarship plans.
He urged Tibetans to maintain unity and condemned the baseless allegations of Dolgyal followers against His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
While at the Gangtok Namgyal Institute of Tibet, Dr Sangay on 4 November met Ms Rinchin Ongmo, Chief Secretary of Sikkim, and Tenzin Gelek Rinpoche, Secretary of the Ecclesiastical Affairs Department at Gangtok. During their meeting, the Sikyong expressed the Tibetan people's deep gratitude to the people and government of India, and particularly to the Sikkim government for their hospitality.
Addressing a press audience in the afternoon, Sangay responded to questions posed by local reporters. The reporters asked the Sikyong about various issues facing the Tibetan community, including the recently formalised Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy 2014, the economic status of the Tibetan community in exile, and the Tibetan administration's expectations towards the new Indian government.
Following the press conference, the Sikyong met representatives of various Tibetan monasteries in the area and members of 'Wings of Tibet' – a network of young Tibetans and Tibet supporters in Gangtok. He urged the young Tibetans to continue their good work, particularly their efforts to preserve the rich Tibetan language and culture.