Tashi Wangdu announces he is running for Sikyong 2016

Tashi Wangdu announces he's running for Sikyong 2016 during a press conference in McLeod Ganj, India, on 10 June 2015.

Tashi Wangdu announces he's running for Sikyong 2016 during a press conference in McLeod Ganj, India, on 10 June 2015. Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

By Lobsang Wangyal

MCLEOD GANJ, India, 10 June 2015

Stirring up the election fever, Tashi Wangdu announced Wednesday that he will run for the post of Sikyong (Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration) in 2016, elections for which will be held in two rounds in October and next March.

Wangdu announced his plans to run for Sikyong in a press conference in McLeod Ganj, and said that he is running for Sikyong for three reasons.

First, to work for the Tibetan cause under the the Dalai Lama’s vision for resolving the Tibetan issue through “Middle-way” approach by dialogue.

Considering the urging and endorsement by many individuals and considering his own experiences in international relations and commerce, and having served in Tibetan settlements in India all make him confident he is the right candidate for Sikyong, was his second reason.

In order to cater for the urgency of reviving the dialogue between China and Tibet, sustain the exile administration, provide education for youth, and to improve the economy was his third reason.

He said his reasons could be summed up in the word “SEEN” – Sustainability, Education, Economy, and Negotiation.

Asked if running for Sikyong meant he was not satisfied with incumbent Sikyong Lobsang Sangay’s administration, he said, “It’s not about satisfied or unsatisfied. I have my own vision and mission.

“We don’t have time to wait for another five years. We have to work hard and restore the dialogue and resolve the issue of Tibet at the earliest.”

About his political ideology, he said “I am totally with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I will work under his guidance and vision to resolve the issue of Tibet.”

Tashi Wangdu is currently the CEO of the Federation of Tibetan Cooperatives, headquartered in Bangalore.

As a diplomat and bureaucrat, he has served in the Central Tibetan Administration in various capacities. He was the Representative of Tibetan Settlements in Bylakuppe; General Secretary of the Office of Tibet, Pretoria, South Africa; Chief Representative of South Zone in Bangalore; Secretary of Bureau of HH the Dalai Lama in New Delhi; and Accountant of the Tibetan Parliamentarian Secretariat in Dharamshala.

He was born in Bylakuppe Tibetan Refugee Camp in 1972. He completed his schooling from Central School for Tibetans (CST) Mussoorie, earned his B Com from Mysore University, Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from St Joseph College Bangalore, and finally joined New York University to pursue MA International Relations under a Fulbright Scholarship.

The Election Commission of the Central Tibetan Administration announced that the exile Tibetan elections for Sikyong and members of the Parliament will be held on 18 October 2015 and 20 March 2016.

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