The leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay and H. H. the Dalai Lama's Representative for the Baltic Countries, Thubten Samdup spoke at EHU during their first-time visit to Lithuania.
According to Sangay, despite the fact that the Tibetan diaspora is dispersed around the world, their consciousness is Tibetan and they are all contributing to the movement for Tibet’s freedom.
“I know that I have Tibetans’ support not because I am so great, but because, given a choice, they would rather have a Tibetan speak for them than a Chinese,” said Sangay. According to him, the Tibetans are taking their inspiration from peaceful resistance movements around the world to advocate for the “middle way”—real autonomy rather than independence from China. Tibetans aim to counter the oppression and fear sown by the Chinese government in Tibet via peaceful means.
“For example, everyone starts banging utensils at 8 p.m. The leader thinks ‘they all don’t like me.’ Then the local policeman knows that people don’t like him. In this way you can reverse the fear,” said Sangay, quoting examples of peaceful movements around the world.
Sangay says ordinary people, not leaders are the strongest force behind any freedom movement, and he is convinced Tibetans will succeed as others have.
Sangay is the first political Tibetan leader directly elected by Tibetan delegates abroad. He resides in Dharamsala, India, where the administration of the government-in-exile is located. Sangay holds an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School.