Sikyong Sangay denies influencing matters of RFA

Sikyong Lobsang Sangay after the opening ceremony of the Special International Tibet Support Groups Meeting in Dharamshala, India.

Sikyong Lobsang Sangay poses for a photo after the opening ceremony of the Special International Tibet Support Groups Meeting in Dharamshala, India, on 16 November 2012. File photo/Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

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.”

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