By Lobsang Wangyal | Tibet Sun
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 22 November 2012
Sikyong Lobsang Sangay denied any involvement with the internal matters of Radio Free Asia (RFA), after he was accused of influencing the dismissal of the Director of the Tibetan Service of the organisation.
“It is unfortunate that the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and my name have been dragged into internal matters related to the Tibetan Service of Radio Free Asia (RFA). I want to categorically state that I have never approached either RFA President Ms Libby Liu or members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors on matters related to RFA personnel. I, therefore, have nothing to do with developments between RFA management and Mr Ngapo Jigme. Allegations of interference on personnel matter are completely baseless,” Sikyong Sangay said, in a statement released today.
Radio Free Asia had sacked Director Ngapo Jigme from the post without revealing the reason for the dismissal.
Later, it was speculated that Sikyong Sangay and his aides had put pressure on RFA President Libby Liu and members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to relieve Ngapo Jigme of his duties, possibly on political or ideological differences.
US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher issued a press release concerning the matter, and also sent a letter to the Sikyong complaining of interference and pressuring RFA President and the BBG by the Sikyong and his aides.
The Sikyong’s statement, which was also posted on Facebook, has been applauded and has received a good deal of reactions, with some saying that the US Congressman must apologise for these “baseless accusations.”
Lauding the works and purpose of the radio service, the Sikyong said that the RFA was established to provide truthful and objective service to Tibetans, particularly to listeners in Tibet deprived of unbiased and timely news and information.
“I want to thank the US Congress and Government for establishing and funding this important programme.”
To the Congressman’s issue regarding US aid money being misspent or perhaps even going into the pockets of Communist Chinese and Tibetan power brokers, the Sikyong wrote, “CTA takes great pride in maintaining fiscal integrity and transparency. Every dollar we receive in humanitarian and development assistance is accounted for, and, as required, funders receive clear, complete and timely statements on use of their funds.”
The Radio Free Asia’s Tibetan service is as a truly great gift from the people of America to Tibetans in and out of Tibet. The controversy surrounding the recent dismissal of its director without giving a reason, and in disregard to the wishes and pleas of the majority of its Tibetan staff, has surprised and saddened me.
It is not my contention that there may not be a valid reason for the dismissal of Mr Jigme Ngapo. But the dogged refusal of RFA to make the reason known to the stakeholders has brought its well-respected transparency into question this time. The forceful language used by Mr Dana Rohrabacher in his communication to Sikyong L. Sangay, compared to the latter’s flat and curt denial, made me to wonder if there is more to the entire issue than meets the eye.
Why don’t we try to apply our much-talked-about Middle Way to uncomfortable areas in our own community, where the Middle Way actually has a fair chance to succeed?
So far as my belief goes, both the CTA and Tibet Independence advocacy groups are sincerely striving for the good of Tibet. They should pool their efforts together and not allow themselves to stray in cross currents.
Bod Gyalo and Bodme Khyope!