On April 26, 2022, the Sikyong (President) of the Central Tibetan Administration Penpa Tsering visited the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) headquarters in Washington, D.C. on his first trip to the United States since taking office last year. Following introductory remarks by NED President and Chief Executive Officer Damon Wilson, Sikyong Tsering addressed the commitment to democracy among Tibetan people, then held a conversation with NED Vice President of Programs Brian Joseph about increasing pressure to find a solution to the six-decade-long Sino-Tibet conflict.
“Unfortunately the world community did not listen to us in the last 50, 60 years we have been talking about the motivation of China,” said Sikyong Tsering. “Today, people are looking at resetting the balance and it’s a positive feeling. But now we have to work and look at new ways and means to
make China accountable. That’s the only way to move forward.” (Watch NED’s conversation with Sikyong Tsering after he took office in 2021.)
Sikyong Tsering discussed what the unraveling of freedom in Hong Kong means for Tibet, the status of the abducted 11th Panchen Lama, and how his administration engages with the international community on China’s authoritarianism. Considering how to turn challenges into opportunities, Sikyong Tsering noted the importance of rallying younger generations in support of the Tibetan cause.
“The Tibetan cause has consistently been associated with the values of justice compassion and non-violence, but it also represents the principles of democracy.” said NED President and Chief Executive Officer Damon Wilson during opening remarks. “Guided by a democratic constitution carrying out free and fair elections, the Tibetan exile government is a remarkable achievement, especially considering the challenges and the odds that it faces. It can serve as a model for other exiled democracy movements.”