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Berman Lecture: Tibet is successful exiled government, leader says
By CSLR | Emory Law | Apr 12, 2018 12:04:00 AM

The Central Tibetan Administration is an example of a successful government-in-exile, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay said in his lecture, "The Tibetan People's Transition to Secular Democracy." 

Sangay delivered the 2018 Berman Lecture, named for Harold J. Berman, who was Emory’s first Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law and is considered the father of the modern study of law and religion.

Sangay was elected president of the Tibetan Government-in-exile in 2012, with 55 percent of the vote, and re-elected in 2016. He oversees a $35 million annual budget that funds schools, hospitals, and monastaries and represents 6 million Tibetans. He described his administration as frugal. He spoke highly of the Tibetan people's high literacy rate and solid work ethic.

"We have transferred in rule to a secular system, but the morals of Buddhism are still very much practiced," Sangay said.

But the government faces obstacles in securing for the Tibetan people the autonomy to practice their religion and culture while still being part of China. "We are not seeking separation from China," he said. "What we are seeking from China is genuine autonomy ... this is the Buddhist notion of finding middle ground." 

Still, Sangay remains hopeful. "As Tibetans we lost our freedom, and as Tibetans we will regain our freedom." 

His lecture is available here. Here is a news story on the lecture. Here is a paper Sangay wrote while at Harvard Law.