Exiled Tibetans Elect Harvard Scholar As Leader


Harvard legal scholar Lobsang Sangay is to take over political leadership of the Tibetan government in exile from the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan election committee said on Wednesday.

The elections for the kalon tripa, or prime minister, were held on March 20 in the Tibetan parliament in exile in the Indian city of Dharamsala, several days after the Dalai Lama announced his retirement.

Sangay, who has extensive experience in international law and conflict resolution, won with 55 percent of the vote. He will be tasked with holding talks with China on gaining greater autonomy for the 6 million Tibetans living in the Tibetan Autonomous region of China.

China occupied Tibet in 1950 and claims the region has been part of its territory for centuries. No state has yet recognized the Tibetan government-in-exile.

The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959, has repeatedly said he seeks autonomy for Tibet rather than independence from China. He retains his role as a spiritual leader to the Tibetan Buddhists.

Beijing accused the Nobel Peace Prize winner of orchestrating the March 2008 unrest in Tibet, which left 19 people dead and 623 injured, according to official Chinese reports. The Dalai Lama has denied the allegations.

Ria Novosti

RIA Novosti was Russia's leading news agency in terms of multimedia technologies, website audience reach and quoting by the Russian media.

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