VOA Hosts Election Debate for Prime Minister of Exiled Tibetan Government

The Voice of America’s Tibetan Service will host an unusual televised debate from the Newseum in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, March 1, featuring three candidates vying to become Prime Minister (Kalon Tripa) of the exiled Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamsala, India.

The first of its kind debate will be held in front of a live audience that will include the heads of leading Tibetan social, cultural and political organizations from around North America. The debate will be moderated by VOA Tibetan journalists and broadcast Wednesday on the AsiaSat3 satellite to China. The program will also be available online at www.voanews.com/tibetan/news.

The VOA Tibetan Service event will bring a “Town Hall” style debate for the Prime Minister’s post to an audience in the Tibet Autonomous Region and the Tibetan diaspora on four continents.

Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has said the March 20th election of a new Prime Minister for the exiled Tibetan Administration will pave the way for his retirement.

In addition to questions posed by debate moderators, the three candidates, Lobsang Sangay, Tashi Wangdi, and Tenzin N. Tethong, will answer video questions gathered by VOA from the Tibetan public around the world.

VOA Director Danforth W. Austin says, “By hosting this debate, the Tibetan Service will provide Tibetans around the world a chance to learn about and actually participate in the election process.” Austin says the event is “a prime example of how VOA can use its resources to bring people together to share important events and we are very pleased the three candidates have agreed to take part in this forum.”

Voice of America’s Tibetan Service has been providing extensive radio, television and Internet coverage of the Tibetan prime ministerial elections and Tibetan parliament in an effort to provide fair and balanced information to our audience in Tibet, where media is highly restricted and censored by the Chinese authorities.

Since January, VOA’s Tibetan Service has interviewed all three of the final candidates about their candidacy, plans and platforms. Television reporting about the election has been complemented with shortwave radio segments that examine different aspects of the election of exiled parliament members.

For the latest news about Tibet, visit www.voanews.com/tibetan-english/news. For information about any of our programs, visit our main news site at www.voanews.com.


For more information, please call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail us at askvoa@voanews.com.

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