Dr Lobsang Sangay, Sikyong (President) of the Central Tibetan Administration, more often known as the Tibetan Government-in-Exile in Dharamsala, India, visited the Scottish Parliament this week as a guest of Deputy Presiding Officer and SNP MSP Linda Fabiani.
Dr Sangay took office in August 2011 as the first fully-democratically elected Tibetan Prime-Minister, a position evolving into Sikyong (President) following the 14th Dalai Lama's resignation from political leadership.
In February 2016, Dr Sangay was re-elected as Sikyong.
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“Back in 2007, I met the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s Spiritual Leader and then political leader at a Catalan TV studio, where we were both interviewed completely separately, but interestingly about the possibility of Catalan independence and Tibetan independence.
“Tibet was forcibly incorporated into China in 1950, an issue I first spoke about at SNP Conference, where 20 years ago I successfully moved a resolution calling for China to allow Tibet to decide its own future. Currently, China will not contemplate this, although the CTA continues to peacefully call for self-determination.”
Kenneth is a member of the Cross-Party Group on Tibet, although not an active one.
Dr Sangay presented Kenneth with a khata, a traditional ceremonial Tibetan scarf. The khata symbolizes purity and compassion and is worn or presented with incense at many ceremonial occasions, including births, weddings, funerals, graduations and the arrival or departure of guests. Made of silk. White Tibetan khatas symbolise the pure heart of the giver.