President of Tibetan government-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay, visits White House for the first time in six decades

| SamvadaWorld Staff

In a historic feat, Dr. Lobsang Sangay, President of Tibetan government-in-exile, visited the White House on November 21. This is the first time in the last 6 decades the head of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has been invited into the White House, reports Tibet.net.

Dr. Sangay was formally invited to the US State Department last month to meet Assistant Secretary and Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues Robert Destro. He was the first Sikyong (Head of the Kashag or Cabinet, part of the executive branch of the Central Tibetan Administration), to be invited by the US State Department.

“It is a great honor to be the first political head of the Central Tibetan Administration  to formally enter the White House”, Dr. Lobsang Sangay tweeted after the visit.

China observers say that the invite by the US State Department and subsequent visit of Dr. Sangay to the White House is a message to China with far reaching consequences. The head of CTA was denied entry to the US State Department and White House for the last 6 decades as the US government does not recognize the Tibetan government in exile. However, the dynamics of the engagement between the US and Tibet changes this status quo. Tibet.net report says that this visit amounts to ‘an acknowledgement of both the democratic system of the CTA and its political head’.

During the visit, Dr. Sangay met with White House officials. CTA Representative Ngodup Tsering and Kelsang Dolma accompanied Dr. Sangay on these meetings.

Reportedly, Dr. Sangay had met with White House officials over a dozen times at undisclosed meetings and locations during the past 10 years since he became the CTA’s Sikyong in 2011. However, the unprecedented official invite and public visit of Sikyong, are seen as a precursor to the formalization of the ties between the US and CTA in the next few years. 

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