Original Tibetan article published on KHABDA
First of all, all the candidates who have so far announced their decision to join the 2021 Sikyong election have many years of public service record and therefore I respect all of them.
Given how critical the post of Sikyong is, I discussed with many others about a candidate who has the following attributes:
— Someone who meets the need of the hour and can rebuild the exile Tibetan society that existed 10 years ago
— Someone who can see and understand the political stakes as His Holiness the Dalai Lama enters an advanced age
— Someone who understands the ground reality of Tibet and has network and connections inside Tibet
— Someone who is trusted by both Tibetans in and outside Tibet
— Someone who has imbibed the cultural values of Tibetan Buddhism and can set a positive example to others.
— Someone whose conduct and past work is without controversy.
Following my discussion, I sat down and carefully thought on my own. At the end, I saw Kasur Ngodup Dongchung as the most viable candidate and decided to cast my vote for him.
I heard of Kasur Ngodup la and his work when I was in Tibet. In the 90s, political circumstances forced me to leave Tibet and I came into exile in India. On my arrival, the first leader of Tibetan government that I met was Ngodup la. At the time, he was the secretary of the Department of Security.
In the course of me sharing the difficult and sad situation inside Tibet, I was moved by Kasur Ngodup la’s deep sense of empathy and solidarity towards the difficulties that Tibetan inside Tibet face. His understanding of the overall situation inside Tibet and in particular, his detailed knowledge of the Chinese government’s treatment of Tibetans left a lasting impression on me and I thought to myself that this is how a leader should be. Just as a child would explain to their parents about a problem, I shared all the stories of the suffering that I had personally gone through inside Tibet. I will never forget the day that I met him.
Ngodup la is truly a humble and a decent person who is without the arrogance that comes with one’s position or rank. Calm and collected, he is constantly attentive to Tibetan matters. Despite having a thorough understanding and knowledge on many issues, he does not have a know it all attitude in his interactions with others.
I had suffered both physically and psychologically as a political prisoner. Ngodup la gave me renewed hope and since then, I have always held him with respect and admiration and it moves me to think that he is a leader of our Tibetan administration.
During his life-long service at the security department, he went to Tibet while being fully cognizant of the risks it posed and helped to bridge the distance between Tibetans inside and outside Tibet. Even to this day, the contacts he built and maintained contribute to our larger movement. This is the reason why Tibetans who come from Tibet still hold him in high regard. Having earned the trust of Tibetans inside Tibet, he is able to get on ground and detailed information, a conduit that continues to this day.
When I lived in Nepal and India, due to the nature of my work, I met and interacted with many Tibetans in service to the Tibetan cause. They unanimously speak of Ngodup la as someone who is a positive example and a person with deep knowledge of our situation. Given the situation of our exile society and the reasons that I have given above, I will be supporting Kasur Ngodup Dongchung to be the 2021 Sikyong.
If my fellow Tibetans find my reasons to be valid, I request you all to support Kasur Ngodup Dongchung.
“As the Dalai Lama reaches an advanced age,
A precarious time has come upon Tibet and Tibetans.
As we come to elect a Sikyong,
If we cast our vote for Ngodup la,
We will have no room for regrets in the future.”
On March 4, 1988, Gaden Tsering took part in the peaceful protest in Lhasa. He was sentenced to prison for four years and was forced to come into exile. Today, he lives in Boston, United States.