Dalai Lama shares political role with Harvard academic

“A Harvard University academic has been elected prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile and will take on the political role previously played by the Dalai Lama.”

The BBC News reports this and the following:

“Lobsang Sangay won 55% of the votes cast by Tibetans around the world.

Mr Sangay must now assume the political functions of the Dalai Lama, who said in March he wanted to devolve this responsibility to an elected official.

Almost 83,400 Tibetan exiles were eligible to vote and more than 49,000 ballots were cast, he said.

The 42-year-old winner is an Indian-born legal expert who has never lived in Tibet. His father fled Tibet in 1959, the same year as the Dalai Lama.

He says he will move to Dharamsala to serve as prime minister and that he supports the Dalai Lama’s stance on ties with China.

An official told Reuters news agency that the Dalai Lama was “very happy” that people had taken “a very active part in the election process”.

The 76-year-old monk announced in March that he wanted an elected official to assume some of his responsibilities, saying that such a move was in the best interests of the Tibetan people.

Analysts say he aims to ensure that even if China’s government tries to select the next Dalai Lama, the Tibetans will have an elected leader they can look to who is outside China and beyond the Communist Party’s control.”

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