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Letter from Lobsang Sangay

posted Jan 18, 2011, 8:31 AM by The Tibetan Political Review
From the unofficial Lobsang Sangay campaign website
To promote transparency, TPR invites campaign updates from all candidates.

Dear Supporters,

From the holy place in Varanasi, India, please accept my heartfelt best wishes and a Happy Inji New Year 2011. I remember starting last year with a pilgrimage and teaching in Bodh Gaya too.

I am truly humbled reading your messages sent through emails, letters and Facebook. Your messages have been a source of inspiration for me and my family. Hope you will understand my inability to respond individually but I assure you that your prayers and kind words mean a lot to us.

Meeting and talking with all of you has been one of the greatest successes for my campaign and personally an amazing learning experience. Whenever I feel exhausted or anxious, it's your inspiring stories, your hopes and your encouragements that strengthen my commitment and gives me courage. There are still so many of you I want to meet and listen to, and hopefully we can.

In a few days, I am starting the 'THANK YOU TOUR' visiting many shichaks to personally extend my gratitude for the overwhelming support and trust extended to me. Win or lose, it is incumbent upon me to have the courtesy to spend the last leg of the journey with you - the people. I've always believed that a leader must meet and share thoughts, while sincerely trying to understand the concerns and aspirations of the people. For me, the opportunity to meet you and the privilege to participate in this Kalon Tripa election has been an unequaled honor that I do not take lightly.

It seems I prevailed in 75% Shichaks and similar high number in Europe and North America including Boston where I currently live, and in these two months, I will attempt to cover as many shichaks and other areas where Tibetans live. The tour kicks-off on January 23rd from Orissa to Mainpat (Jan. 25) then to Bandara Norgyeling (Jan. 27). We are still working the details and dates within other major shichaks in South India, Ladakh, Dikiling and several more.

As for the expenses, many well-wishers have repeatedly proposed raising campaign funds for me but I urged them not to do so. Major costs like international airfares will be funded by the organizations that organize debates and other forums related to the election. Modest publicity and informational materials like the booklet, DVD and posters are sponsored by friends and supporters from Minnesota, New York/New Jersey and Boston. (You will soon find these materials uploaded on www.kalontripafortibet.org for you to read and distribute.) Other expenses within India - including travels, have been relatively small and affordable. So not only do I feel it unnecessary but also discomforting to raise funds.

Recently, some friends and supporters invited me to New York/New Jersey, Minnesota and Wisconsin; it was heartening to see that the people's reactions and participation had gotten bigger and stronger. In Saranath, my talk that was primarily meant for the newly arrived from Tibet had more than 2000 people attend. It clearly shows that the enthusiasm and engagement in the Kalon Tripa election and particularly support for change is growing. I applaud and thank the different organizations and individuals who have been relentlessly and successfully promoting and publicizing this election.

Finally, I once again remind all my supporters of our commitment to keep our campaign positive and respectful. Personally, I have high regards and admiration for the other candidates and I urge you to treat them accordingly. Please do not resort to negative campaigning.

Many say this election has been unprecedented and people's enthusiasm is palpable. We all are part of this great journey, and please join me in making history. Please continue participating and make sure every eligible Tibetan you know votes on March 20th.

Tashi Delek and Bhoe Gyalo,

Lobsang Sangay Sarnath, Varanasi 16/01/2011