Sikyong’s visit to Washington was part of an ongoing effort by the Central Tibetan Administration to affirm closer ties with overseas Chinese scholars and students, garner international support to the Tibetan movement and meet with local Tibetan public.
The visit culminated with a special address at the diplomacy training for officials of the Offices of Tibet, a series of meetings with senior US officials, congressmen, and a public talk to the Tibetan community of Washington DC.
Addressing the diplomacy training for Tibetan officials of the various Offices of Tibet (OOT), Sikyong said that the training is organised with the objective of enhancing the professional aspects of diplomacy in the staff of the Offices of Tibet.
He spoke about the 5-point strategy that the Offices of Tibet must incorporate in their responsibilities. The 5-point strategy comprised of reaching out to the people in the government; reaching out to the people in the Parliament; reaching out to NGOs, think tanks; reaching out to the people in the media and raising funds for the Tibetan cause.
Sikyong also urged the OOT Representatives and staffs to make regional based plans on top of the common objective and office related goals.
The diplomacy training was organised by the Department of Information and International Relations to provide exposure to key issues like Principle of Diplomacy in Practice, Defense & Security to Diplomacy over Natural Resources & Human Rights, Factors impacting International Negotiation on Water, Results based Management, etc.
Following his address at the diplomacy training, Sikyong met with staff members of the Congress and government agencies, and influential people in Washington DC.
During their meetings, Sikyong introduced the democratic aspect of Tibetans in exile and the tragic situation in Tibet. He also talked about the inherent nature of Tibetans as kind with a deep commitment to help others in need recounting the initiative of the Tibetan people during the recent Nepal earthquake. “Even though we are refugees ourselves, the Tibetan people started collecting donations and undertook relief efforts to help people trapped and injured during the recent Nepal.” Sikyong explained.
Sikyong also met several members of the US Congress including longtime Tibet supporter Ms. Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of US House of Representatives and Mr. Tom Cotton, Senator from Arkansas during a visit to the US Congress.
He apprised the Congressmen on the grave situation of Tibetans inside Tibet and the wave of self-immolation protest that has swept Tibet as a result of continued Chinese repression. He assured the Tibetan people’s firm commitment to non-violence and dialogue to resolve the Tibet issue.
Sikyong’s final engagement in Washington DC was his public talk to the Tibetan community followed by a potluck dinner. In his address to the Tibetan community, Sikyong explained the main objectives of his current visit to North America.
He apprised the Tibetan public about the sound financial state of the Central Tibetan Administration. “The annual budget of CTA was INR 1025 million in 2012-2013. This year, the annual budget was approved for INR 2008 million, indicating the strength of our financial condition,” Sikyong explained. He also briefed the audience on the activities of each of the seven departments of the Central Tibetan Administration in the last three and half years followed by a question and answer session.
Sikyong left for Toronto in the morning of 17 May.