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Title: Sikyong  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Lobsang Sangay, Central Tibetan Administration, Tsering Dhondup, Tsering Wangchuk, Kashag
Collection: Central Tibetan Administration, Prime Ministers of Tibet
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration
Emblem of Tibet
Lobsang Sangay

since 8 August 2011
Residence Kashag
Dharamsala, India
Appointer 14th Dalai Lama
as Head of State
Term length 5 years
Inaugural holder Jangsa Tsang
Formation 31 March 1959

The Sikyong (government-in-exile. Prior to September, 2012, this office was known as Kalön Tripa, sometimes translated as prime minister[1]. The current Sikyong is Lobsang Sangay. The Sikyong is the head of the Kashag or Cabinet, part of the executive branch of the Central Tibetan Administration. This office should not be confused with the Chairman of the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The first directly elected Kalön Tripa was Lobsang Tenzin, the Samdhong Rinpoche, who was elected August 20, 2001.[1]

Before 2011, the Kalön Tripa position was subordinate to the 14th Dalai Lama[2] who presided over the government in exile from its founding.[3] In August of that year, Lobsang Sangay polled 55 per cent votes out of 49,189, defeating his nearest rival Tethong Tenzin Namgyal by 8,646 votes, becoming the second popularly-elected Kalon Tripa. The Dalai Lama announced that his political authority would be transferred to Sangay.[4]


  • Change to Sikyong 1
  • List of Prime Ministers of the Tibetan government in exile 2
  • References 3
  • Speech/transcription 4
  • External links 5

Change to Sikyong

On September 20, 2012, the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile unanimously voted to change the title of Kalön Tripa to Sikyong in Article 19 of the Charter of the Tibetans in exile and relevant articles.[5] The Dalai Lama had previously referred to the Kalon Tripa as Sikyong, and this usage was cited as the primary justification for the name change. According to Tibetan Review, "Sikyong" translates to "political leader", as distinct from "spiritual leader".[6] Foreign affairs Kalon Dicki Chhoyang claimed that the term "Sikyong" has had a precedent dating back to the 7th Dalai Lama, and that the name change "ensures historical continuity and legitimacy of the traditional leadership from the fifth Dalai Lama".[7] The online Dharma Dictionary translates sikyong (srid skyong) as "secular ruler; regime, regent"[2]. The title sikyong had previously been used by regents who ruled Tibet during the Dalai Lama's minority. It is also used in Tibetan to refer to the governors of the states of the United States.[3]

List of Prime Ministers of the Tibetan government in exile

# Name Picture Took Office Left Office Monarch
1 Jangsa Tsangy 1959 1960 14th Dalai Lama
2 Surkhang Wangchen Gelek 1960 1964 14th Dalai Lama
3 Shenkha Gurmey Topgyal 1965 1970 14th Dalai Lama
4 Garang Lobsang Rigzin 1970 1975 14th Dalai Lama
5 Kunling Woeser Gyaltsen 1975 1980 14th Dalai Lama
6 Wangdue Dorjee 1980 1985 14th Dalai Lama
7 Juchen Thupten Namgyal 1985 1990 14th Dalai Lama
8 Kalsang Yeshi 1990 1991 14th Dalai Lama
9 Gyalo Dhondup 1991 1993 14th Dalai Lama
10 Tenzin Tethong 1993 1996 14th Dalai Lama
11 Sonam Topgyal 1996 2001 14th Dalai Lama
12 Lobsang Tenzin 2001 2011 14th Dalai Lama
13 Lobsang Sangay 2011 present 14th Dalai Lama


  1. ^ Donovan Roebert, Samdhong Rinpoche: Uncompromising Truth for a Compromised World (World Wisdom, 2006) ISBN 978-1-933316-20-8 (On August 20, 2001, Venerable Professor Samdhong Rinpoche was elected Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of the Tibetan Government in Exile, receiving 84.5% of the popular exile vote.)
  2. ^ The Charter of Tibetans in-Exile, Article 20 of the Constitution of Tibet, retrieved 2010-03-19.
  3. ^ The Charter of Tibetans in-Exile, Articles 19, 30, & 31 of the Constitution of Tibet, retrieved 2010-03-19.
  4. ^ Dean Nelson Lobsang Sangay: profile, The Telegraph, 08 Aug 2011
  5. ^ Tibetan Parliament changes 'Kalon Tripa' to 'Sikyong'
  6. ^ "Kalon Tripa to be now referred to as Sikyong". Tibetan Review. 2012-09-22. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  7. ^ "International Support Groups Meet in Dharamsala to Deal with Critical Situation In Tibet". Central Tibetan Administration. 2012-11-16. 


  • Key note address by Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Kalon Tripa, Tibetan Government in Exile on 06 September 2011 at the VIF Seminar on Tibet

External links

  • Kalon Tripa election in 2011
  • Kalön Tripa 2011 election results
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