Sikyong Sangay, the ball is in your court now!

Mila Rangzen

By Mila Rangzen

KOLLEGAL, India, 21 January 2018

On 5 December 2017 former speaker Penpa Tsering made a detailed clarification rejecting every allegation, categorically, that Sikyong Sangay lobbed on him on 6 November 2017. But to Sikyong’s shock, the 10-point grenade of accusations didn’t burst on PT. It just refused to do so. It backfired.

Sikyong’s attempt to tarnish the image of a dedicated public servant for both political and personal reasons has failed. With the vigilance and quick action from the public, the humble Tibetan people have spoken! The grenade burst back on Sikyong in the form of protest and loss of trust in his leadership.

Sikyong never imagined even in his dreams that the Tibetan public would one day rise and speak truth to power right in his face. Terminating PT is the enormous miscalculation Sikyong made after being in office for nearly two years in his second term, and he is now paying the price.

Many, including those who voted for Lobsang Sangay, are now beginning to see him as a shallow, fake, narcissistic, crooked, unreliable, cowardly, small-minded, touchy, egotistical, arrogant, greedy, deceptive, unappreciative of criticism, irresponsible, vindictive man, and also a sack full of outrageous lies. These are the characteristics of a wicked conman that HH abhors and does not wish to see in any human being, let alone Sikyong whose office is tied to the destiny of the six million Tibetan people.

  1. The claim that LS gave the representative post to PT by recalling his friend Kaydor Aukatsang to Dharamshala even before his tenure was numbered is a lie. The fact is that Gaden Phodrang was not happy with Kaydor’s performance in general and his election controversy in particular, so LS had no choice but to recall Kaydor and appoint Ngodup Tsering in his spot. This decision was taken long before LS posted PT to Washington DC. Yes, LS decided to name PT to the post of representative in Brussels. But that decision had to change later, and the credit goes to Gaden Phodrang, not Lobsang Sangay.
  2. What hurt Sikyong’s ego most was when PT, like an honest statesman, suggested that there should be a payable record with Office of Tibet when there exists a receivable record with the Tibet Fund regarding the $1.5-million loan. This process, he argued, sits well with both the accounting practices and the local laws. Article 6 of the exile charter states that the local laws must be respected at all cost. However, LS violated this critical article in the charter, as usual with a straight face.
  3. Narcissistic. LS asked former MP Koren from Europe to submit a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for him. Remember the picture of himself with Buddha in the background on a thangka hanging on the wall beside his desk? Thangkas are usually reserved for Buddhas and bodhisattvas. He has no shame in hanging such a thangka in his office.
    The irony is that he prefers to call himself Senge “Lion” instead of Sangay “Buddha.” When it was found out that his actual name is spelled Sangay in Tibetan in his Green Book, he insisted and changed to call himself Senge rather than Sangay. Also, his portrait photo lined up on par with HH during elections. His framed picture was carried by well over 60 supporters at the JFK airport recently, an act that is usually reserved for a religious figure like the Dalai Lama. This is all coming from a remote control in LS’ hand. Sangay wishes to be listed as a Nobel laureate alongside the Dalai Lama. He’s a dreamer, but that’s LS for you. How can he even think of competing with His Holiness?
  4. Egoistic. LS also asked MP Pema Chazoetsang from the US to submit his name for the Templeton nomination, a prize worth around $2 million which is usually awarded to a scientist who is prepared to say something nice about religion.
  5. Vindictive. LS terminated PT because PT raised questions with facts and compelling reasons whenever his duty required him to do so. You rarely see this kind of leader in our community except for MP Dolma Tsering who stands her ground and speaks up and grills powers that be. She is a perfect candidate for the post of Home Minister when PT or Dhardon wins in 2021. I salute her from the bottom of my heart because our community needs more upfront and courageous leaders like her.
  6. Can’t stand criticism. The fact is he is a highly vindictive person. He can’t stand criticism let alone appreciate it. That’s the height of childishness sitting in the character of a man whom we expect to lead us through these dark times.
  7. About two months after the election was over on 20 March 2016, HH gave LS a dressing-down in front of the staff of Gaden Phodrang, Penpa Tsering, and the Justice Commissioners. His Holiness reminded him that he was telling everybody he met that LS was his political boss to create a decent image (but LS gets carried away as usual) of the Sikyong on both the domestic and global stages so that the Tibetan cause could benefit from it. But when LS blatantly indulged in lie after lie and falsehood after falsehood, HH asked him point-blank what was the point in HH continuing to live any longer if the man he praised publicly is full of lies.
    The entire dressing-down episode took only minutes. LS was the only one who refused to keep a copy. He merely wanted to feign ignorance of the contents if people demanded a copy of the same. He wept after the Speaker and Justice Commissioners left in front of HH. He wept perhaps realizing his outrageous lies could cost him his political career anytime. Had HH dressed him down in public that would be the end of LS not only as a leader but even as an individual. HH can’t keep LS at a distance because he is an elected leader and it would look bad on the Sikyong if HH did, although the nature of his personality warrants otherwise. This is the problematic position HH is in. Long ago one of my brothers was a monk, carrying Nechung in a trance, at Namgyal Dratsang, HH own monastery. And with a connection in the right place, it is not hard to find a reliable, eyewitness source of information.
  8. It was LS who leaked the secret visit Samdhong Rinpoche made to China recently. Why? To put that on his list of achievements if any. To boost his political image, he makes sure the Tibetan public and the media are not left in the dark even on this secret visit of the former president! LS tipped off Indian intelligence anonymously, and Indian intelligence passed it to an Indian journalist who wrote about it first.

If the current nightmare is to end soon, then it’s time Sikyong either declares PT’s clarification a bag of lies or answers his conscience honestly and offers an apology to PT in public. The ball has been in Sikyong’s court for more than 40 days now. But there has been no response whatsoever from Sikyong. PT did not accept even a single accusation as real, and if Sikyong continues to remain silent, then it only means the truth is on PT’s side. Sikyong should also immediately apologize for deceiving the Tibetan public and creating chaos and rift in our community.

Failing this, PT will have no choice but to leave no stone unturned in seeking justice, and that could include the taking of Sikyong to the Tibetan court and possibly the US court too on defamation charges. The clock ticks now!

PS: Two pieces of good news! LS cannot come back in 2021. To do so, he has to win 30 votes in the Parliament. Both U-Tsang and Amdo parliamentarians won’t let that happen! PT is eligible to fight in the Sikyong election in 2021!