Tibetans living in exile have a new political leader.
Harvard-educated lawyer Lobsang Sangay was sworn in as Tibet’s prime minister-in-exile in a ceremony at a temple in northern India. The service was attended by the Dalai Lama, who stepped down from his political duties earlier this year.
Sangay’s election marks a turning point in the movement since he becomes the first leader of Tibetan exiles who was not born in Tibet.
He has expressed a desire for talks with Beijing over the issue of independence from China which has ruled Tibet since 1950.
“We have extended our hand, and we are waiting for them to extend their hand,” he said.
In 1959 an unsuccessful uprising against Chinese rule led to 80,000 Tibetans fleeing to India, and nine years later Sangay was born there. He leads a movement whose demand is complete independence from China.