Who should be the next Kalon Tripa, and why?

The three Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) candidates from left: Tashi Wangdi, Tenzin Namgyal Tethong and Lobsang Sangay.

The three Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) candidates from left: Tashi Wangdi, Tenzin Namgyal Tethong and Lobsang Sangay, pose for photographers after a debate organised by the Tibetan Women's Association in Dharamshala, India, on 31 January 2011. Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

By Lobsang Wangyal

MCLEOD GANJ, India, 4 March 2011

The exile Tibetans will go to the polls on 20 March to elect the third directly-elected Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of the Tibetan government-in-exile. The incumbent Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche has been serving the post since 2001, with his second term terminating in August 2011.

There are three candidates now contesting for the post. Lobsang Sangay, who got the maximum number of votes in the preliminary round, has a Ph.D. in law and is a research fellow at Harvard Law School.

Tenzin Namgyal Tethong, a former Kalon Tripa and a Distinguished Fellow at Stanford University, has served the exile government for more than 35 years.

Tashi Wangdi, the third candidate, was a diplomat who has served the exile government for over 40 years.

If elected, the person will be in the post for the next five years.

Tibet is passing through a critical time and the Dalai Lama, 75, is stepping down as the political leader of Tibet. China has become the second most powerful country in the world. Nine rounds of dialogue between the Tibetans and the Chinese leadership is in a deadlock.

Considering all this, who do you think will make the best Kalon Tripa?

Who should be the next Kalon Tripa, and why?

Have your say!

There are 17 comments so far.

  1. 17.
    ཨ་རིག་འགྱུར་མེད། says:on 18 August 2011 at 8:27 pm

    ག་རེ་བྱས་ནས་གླེང་གཞི་འདི་དང་པར་འདི་ད་དུང་ལྷག་ཡོད་པ་རེད། འདི་བརྗེ་རན་མ་རེད་དམ།

  2. 16.
    tenzin says:on 23 April 2011 at 4:45 pm

    In my opinion it doesn’t matter where the future Kalon Tripa is from or what s/he looks like, nor what s/he has studied. What is important is that the future Kalon Tripa is someone we need. Do we need people who speak nonsense or pretend to do something for Tibet and Tibetan people but yield no results? So far, in the end of the day, people keep dying inside Tibet. What is the Tibetan government doing to stop that? It is not good enough to hold candle light vigils or gather and pray every time someone is killed, to show the world how much exile Tibetans care.

    We need people who are determined to achieve freedom and independence for Tibet! We need people who can unite all Tibetans, inside and outside Tibet, and lead them home, to create and preserve their country and culture.

  3. 15.
    Sonam Tsering says:on 23 April 2011 at 7:43 am

    Now is the high time for we rather i — the next kalon, whoever it will be, should be able to see in depth, deeply inside Tibet and its people, and carry on His Holiness’ Middle-Way approach with insight. So long as our struggle remains, our democratic system can be achieved.
    Save Tibet …… long live His Holiness

  4. 14.
    Yak Dorje says:on 16 April 2011 at 2:15 am

    All three are very good candidates, but Dr. Lobsang has more plus points.
    Hence, I go with Dr. L. Sangay.

  5. 13.
    Tenzin Bhutia says:on 9 April 2011 at 2:03 am

    People want change, but no one is specific about what they want.

    What do you want?

    Better negotiations between China? That isn’t the prerogative of the Kalon Tripa or of TGiE. Those talks are between CCP and H.H.D.L.’s representatives, as China considers the only issue to be the return of H.H.D.L.

    End of corruption?

    No doubt there is, but lets face it, if there is, then it’s got to be peanuts, after all we are talking about TGIE. What’s their total Chatrel revenue? What are their expenses? Not much left to take.

    So you see, the Kalon Tripa’s gun shoots blanks.

  6. 12.
    BhopaBhu says:on 6 April 2011 at 11:27 pm

    I think that if we get Lobsang Sangay elected, it can change a lot of things and perspectives. There are multiple reasons why i am favoring Lobsang. I personally think that older generations are too stubborn, and they don’t seek for much alternatives. This time of society it takes thinking and finding loop holes to get around things rather than just directly attacking your enemies.

    But i want to state my most desired change of electing a fresh leader. I am sure most of the young Tibetans experienced at some point in their lives that most of the time older generations discredit us when we make a little mistake. The way they see us is that we are machines, and they are error-less, disregarding and forgetting all the mistakes they have made. I think electing Lobsang will prove and give a second perspective to the older generations of the younger Tibetans. I personally don’t like it when people discredit you of something when you make an error.

    Let me finish by stating this great quote: “Good experience comes from making mistakes, and good judgment comes of experience.”


  7. 11.
    yeshi says:on 23 March 2011 at 9:41 am

    The most capable and vibrant candidate is Tethong. We Tibetans really do not know Lobsang Sange well enough Big “?????????……????? “. Do have you full proof of him. How the funds for the campaigns came … study and decide (during last few months … he told many lies, starting from the place he works -Harvard). Watch carefully and save Tibet and Tibetan people. Do not carried away with young and old. Be more pragmatic and think for the betterment of Tibetans in this world.

    Moreover, there is nothing new thing that PM can do in this critical situation …. Please be aware of day to day work of exile government.

  8. 10.
    Rigzin Namgyal says:on 20 March 2011 at 1:25 am

    I think Dr. Lobsang Sangay is the most favorable candidate so far. He achieved a PhD from the world’s most prestigious University, and determined to use his education to serve our country like Gandhi ji did. He has the potential to change the whole course of Modern Tibetan History. Bod Gyal Lo

  9. 9.
    Buchung Rinzin Ngodup says:on 19 March 2011 at 6:42 am

    The change is something that i am looking for. When it comes to change, it is no other than Dr Lobsang Sangay la. He understands the people’s sufferings under Chinese rule in Tibet, and the difficulties of being a refugee in India or abroad.

    Especially I am looking for changes in the education system among Tibetan schools in India. I think he is the one. Vote for Lobsang Sangay.

  10. 8.
    Phurbu says:on 18 March 2011 at 11:09 am

    The new generation has finally risen to the task, even His Holiness’ recent comments on his retirement reflect that confidence and faith put on our shoulders. It’s time, people who need to take a step back, need to do it right now. Dr. Lobsang Sangay has generated such enthusiasm and energy into a movement that no matter what we say, despite all the protests etc, lacked any new energy. He has brought this new energy and he will be the leader who will channel it towards an objective goal.

    Bhod Gyalo, Vote for Dr.Lobsang Sangay

  11. 7.
    Tenzin Dalha says:on 17 March 2011 at 7:45 pm

    As per hopes and vision of His Holiness is to foresee a young Tibetan to be elected as Kalon Tripa. Now timing and situation comes coincidentally, There is no place for personal favoritism or prejudice, so let’s join our hands and vote for none other than young, dynamic, energetic, innovative, confident, and responsible leader Dr Lobsang Sangye. His tremendous contributions to the Tibetan cause are highly appreciated and become global icon.

  12. 6.
    Lhasa Bhumo says:on 17 March 2011 at 7:31 pm

    There is no doubt that Dr. Lobsang Sangay is the best candidate.

    Our confidence is only with Dr. Lobsang Sangay.

  13. 5.
    Karma lo' doe says:on 17 March 2011 at 5:52 am

    I think Lobsang Sangay has more focus on people suffering inside Tibet, less focus on those who live in refugee. Tetong and Wangdu lags have knowlege about the world, its evolution. I feel if Lobsang would focus on economic development of refugees then he is strongest and best candidate for the kalon tripa post.

  14. 4.
    TenJam says:on 16 March 2011 at 2:35 pm

    After the official declaration of His Holiness’s retirement from politics, I think it is high time for us to think wisely and non-discriminatory. The cause of Tibet should be kept first, and the rest thereafter. We need the leadership of someone who could carry the legacy obtained by His Holiness so far. There is no place for personal favoritism or prejudice, the only thing that matters is “Tibet” and who really fits the bill of kalon tripa. So when you choose your kalon tripa, just keep in your mind that you are part of a history in the making, which will eventually decide the very existence of Tibet.

  15. 3.
    Tashi says:on 16 March 2011 at 10:47 am

    Change, change and change … that Lobsang Sangyal can bring. Tethong, Wangdu, r old wine in new bottle … Lobsang Sangay is new and fresh. There might be people saying old is gold … people prefer old wine. But i say old is old.

    Why we r for new innovation all the time?? 2G, 3G, Intel 1, Intel 4, etc. Most important is to slap China face by saying we have different segment of people running and ruling the exile government, Not just a few families like Tethong, Yabshi and Gyari. Which they always tell the masses in Tibet, saying the exile govt is ruled by Dalai clique, with the above families. Common people like Lobsang Sangay can run the highest post in the exile govt — If you think you can … like Yes We Can attitude!!

    Go go L Sangay — cha yo!!

  16. 2.
    Yeshi Ngawang Tehor says:on 16 March 2011 at 2:40 am

    I really think that next Kalon Tripa should be Dr Lobsang Sangay, because I don’t really have new faith or hope on any old Kalons at all, particularly Kudark families. However I do have faith and hope on new and youth educated who grew up in the Tibetan community in India. Dr Lobsang la has got everything that we Tibetans needed a long time ago. I am sure he can make some changes to this sick Tibetan politics full of selfish people up there.

    • 1.
      Tador says:on 30 March 2011 at 10:04 am

      I really would like to see Tenzin Namgyal Tethong as Kalon Tripa once again. However, am sure LS have got the maximum vote. No that’s the peril of democracy. Sometime we might not get the best candidate up there.

      Ones who go around writing idiotic stuff about Kudraks and regional divisions are purely those with no or very little idea of how have been Tibetan democracy till date and who have been in the helms in exile till date.

      Please count how many Kudraks have held the positions of Kalons in the TGiE? Also, the core issue here is not which person belongs to which family or anything? It has to be do with who is the best candidate, for god’s sake.

      LS as Katri would have complete respect from me as I am a Tibetan who would respect the decision of the electorate. However, one thing saddens me is that, LS with all his political inexperience have uttered so many lies that have harmed the credibility of the post of Kalon Tripa internationally. My head will hang low if a noo-Tibetan tells me you have a Katri who have lied so much.

      Good Luck Lobsang Sangay

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