Health Kalon Penpa Tsering.
Sikyong Penpa Tsering was sworn-in as the Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan people at an official ceremony graced by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 27 May 2021.
Born in 1963, Sikyong Penpa Tsering grew up in Luksam Samdupling Tibetan Settlement in Bylakuppe in south India. After completing his higher secondary education from Central Tibetan School, Sikyong pursued his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Madras Christian College (MCC) in Chennai from 1985-1988.
While pursuing his college studies, a series of major demonstrations erupted in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, against the unjust policies of the Chinese government. During this critical period, Sikyong Penpa Tsering established a Tibetan Freedom Movement office to initiate a solidarity campaign with the sufferings of the Tibetan people inside Tibet. This office also helped connect Tibetans living in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Pondicherry.
Over the years after completing his college education, Sikyong Penpa Tsering served in various capacities and offered his service to the Tibetan cause and people through nongovernmental organizations and by actively participating in various Tibetan political activities.
In 1996, Sikyong Penpa Tsering was elected as a Member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile from Domey Constituency. As a member of the Tibetan parliament, he worked to resolve the issue of Tibet based on the mutually beneficial Middle Way Approach advocated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Employing his knowledge of Economics, Sikyong Penpa Tsering also served in the Parliament’s Budget Estimate Committee numerous times.
In 2001, he was re-elected as a Member of the Tibetan Parliament during which he took on the role of the Executive Director of Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Center (TPPRC), a research agency based in New Delhi. His efforts as the Executive Director of TPPRC and his constant outreach efforts directed towards Indian political leaders led to the successful revival of the All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet (APIPFT).
In 2008, after his re-election to a third term as a member of the Tibetan Parliament, Sikyong Penpa Tsering was elected as the honorable Speaker of the 14th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. In 2011, he was elected to a fourth term as a member of the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and was duly elected as the Speaker through a majority vote.
In his two decades of service as a Tibetan parliamentarian, Sikyong Penpa Tsering oversaw various initiatives and activities to enhance the Tibetan freedom movement. From fostering a grassroot foundation of democratic principles among the Tibetan people to empowerment of Tibetan youth through workshops and seminars, he worked as a representative of the Tibetan people with an earnest effort to strengthen the Tibetan movement’s diplomatic relation and advocacy on both national and international stage.
From August 2016 to November 2017, Sikyong Penpa Tsering assumed the role and responsibility as the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Office of Tibet based in Washington DC. His concentrated efforts to strengthen support for Tibet in the US government endeared many to the Tibetan cause. As the Representative, he also oversaw and participated in several forums and discussions on the issue of Tibet including overseas Chinese intellectuals and democracy activists based in North America.