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Emory Law News Center

President of Tibetan government-in-exile to deliver Berman lecture

Patti Ghezzi |

Sikyong Lobsang SangayThe Center for the Study of Law and Religion is excited to welcome Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, president of the Tibetan government-in-exile to Emory Law. President Dr. Sangay will deliver the 2018 Berman Lecture on Monday, April 9 at 7 p.m. in Tull Auditorium. He will speak on "The Tibetan People’s Transition to Secular Democracy."

President Dr. Sangay was elected administrative head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, officially known as the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), in 2011, with 55 percent of the vote. Shortly before Dr. Sangay’s election, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama devolved his political power to the CTA making Dr. Sangay the first leader of a secular, democratically elected Tibetan government. Dr. Sangay’s title was officially changed to sikyong, which translates as president, in 2012. He was re-elected in 2016.

He supports the “middle way approach” to peace in Tibet, which represents His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s vision of autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the Chinese constitution, similar to arrangements China has with Hong Kong and Macau.

President Dr. Sangay was born in an exile Tibetan community in India and graduated from Delhi University before arriving in the United States in 1995. He received an LLM and an SJD from Harvard Law School. He was a senior research fellow at the East Asian Legal Studies Program, where he organized conferences with Chinese, Tibetan, Indian and western scholars, including meetings between His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and Chinese scholars.

The Center for the Study of Law and Religion has been exploring the intersection between law and religion for more than 30 years, and through their work we have a great opportunity to learn about the Tibetan people’s desire to peacefully practice their religion and maintain their traditions through a transition to secular democracy.