By Lobsang Wangyal
McLEOD GANJ, India, 21 March 2018
Pema Yangchen, former Vice Principal of The Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education, Bangalore, becomes the new Education Minister of the Lobsang Sangay-led 15th Cabinet of the Central Tibetan Administration.
The Tibetan Parliament-in-exile approved her nomination by Sangay with 26 members voting in favour, 15 against, and 3 blank votes. Member Dawa Phunkyi opposed the appointment, saying that there should be discussion and a secret ballot.
Replying to Phunkyi’s objection, Sangay said that the Department of Education is very important and should have its own minister. He told Parliament that Yangchen is a good choice because of her education and her experience as an educationist.
Following the appointment of Ngodup Tsering as the Representative of the Dalai Lama in Washington DC, the Education Department has been handled as an additional charge by Karma Geleg Yuthok since December last year.
Pema Yangchen, 49, is a doctorate scholar from University of Northern Iowa. She completed her schooling from Tibetan Children’s Village in Dharamshala, and obtained her BA Honours in English Literature from the University of Delhi and BEd in English from University of Madras, Tamil Nadu, India.
Yangchen, married to Rebkong Kalsang Dorjee, will be moving to Dharamshala from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
The 15th Cabinet, led by Lobsang Sangay with six ministers, will end its term in March 2021.