Best Drupal HostingBest Joomla HostingBest Wordpress Hosting
WORLD POLICY ON AIR

World Policy Journal is proud to share our weekly podcast, World Policy On Air, featuring former Newsweek On Air host David Alpern with timely insights from global affairs analyst Michael Moran of Transformative.io, risk and geostrategy consultants. Click here to subscribe on iTunes!

THE LATEST

AddToAny
Share/Save

Conversation: Getting Back the High Ground

[Editor's Note: Chinese authorities have declared a "war against secessionist sabotage" against the "Dalai Lama clique" in response to a wave of unrest in and around Tibet. In 2012 alone, there has been least six Tibetans shot dead by Chinese forces and nine self-immolations.

In the Winter 2011/2012 issue  Tibet's first political secular leader in hundreds of years, Lobsang Sangay, spoke with World Policy Journal editor David A. Andelman and managing editor Christoper Shay about his vision for Tibet's future and the separation of religious and political authority.]

A Conversation with Lobsang Sangay, the Kalon Tripa of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile

For half a millennium, since the Mongol ruler Altan Khan, descendant of Genghis and Kublai Khan, bestowed the title of Dalai Lama on the first ruler of the Yellow Hat Buddhists, the Dalai Lama has represented the spiritual and temporal states of the Buddhist nation that dominates Tibet and Mongolia. This summer, the 14th Dalai Lama stepped down from his role as secular ruler to focus on his functions as religious leader. For the first time, Tibetan Buddhists in Asia and around the world have a new political leader—the Kalon Tripa, or prime minister, who hopes one day to be able to return to rule the nation of Tibet, now firmly under Chinese control. Lobsang Sangay was chosen last summer—elected by all Buddhists able to cast ballots (largely outside of tightly-controlled Tibet itself). From his headquarters in Dharamsala, India, he spoke with World Policy Journal editor David A. Andelman and managing editor Christopher Shay.

***

***

World Policy Journal: We are especially interested in the nexus of religion and politics. Tibet and the Dalai Lama are uniquely positioned in that respect. So perhaps, you could start out by helping us understand where the spiritual and the secular converge or diverge in your view.

LOBSANG SANGAY: In 1642, the fifth Dalai Lama took over the political leadership of Tibet. Since then, both the spiritual and political leadership have been united in the institution of the Dalai Lama. On March 10 of this year, the current Dalai Lama transferred his political power to an elected leader. On August 8, the day of my inauguration, he said that had been his long, cherished goal. And this is very important, because some people call it the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new chapter, but his statement makes it very clear it is simply a continuation of the same chapter. Now we have, constitutionally and institutionally, separated the spiritual from the political leadership of the institution of the Dalai Lama. We have done that by amending the constitution and various legal provisions where His Holiness had political or administrative authority. In the long-term interest of Tibet and the Tibetan people, it is best that the Tibetan people stand on their own feet and run the Tibetan movement themselves, rather than lean on one person. His Holiness did it in the interests of Tibet and the Tibetan people, because he thought it undemocratic to have one leader with both spiritual and political leadership. I think this will withstand and sustain the movement for a long period of time.

[To read the rest of the conversation, click here ]

 [Illustration: Miguel Jiron]

Reply
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. If you have a Gravatar account, used to display your avatar.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image. Ignore spaces and be careful about upper and lower case.
FALL FUNDRAISER

 

Around WPI

Jihad in Sub-Saharan Africa 

This paper, “Jihad in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenging the Narratives of the War on Terror,” examines the history of Islamic movements in Africa's Sahel region to contextualize current conflicts.

World Economic Roundtable with Vicente Fox 

In this World Economic Roundtable, former Mexican President Vicente Fox discusses his current quest to make his country a hub for technology. 

Intern at World Policy


Want to join our team? Looking for an experience at one of the most highly sought-after internships for ambitious students? Application details here.

 

Al Gore presides over Arctic Roundtable 

As the United States prepares to assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015, this inaugural convening of the Arctic Deeply Roundtables launches a vital conversation for our times. 

SPONSORED

When the Senate Worked for Us:
New book offers untold stories of how activist staffers countered corporate lobbies in the U.S.


MA in International Policy and Development
Middlebury Institute (Monterey, CA): Put theory into practice through client-based coursework. Apply by Feb. 1.


Millennium Project’s State of the Future 19.0: Collective Intelligence on the Future of the World

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

To learn about the latest in media, programming, and fellowship, subscribe to the World Policy Weekly Newsletter and read through our archives.

World Policy on Facebook

FOLLOW US