My name is Kelsang Dorjee Aukatsang (Kaydor) and I am running for Sikong 2021.
I have had the honor of serving the Tibetan freedom struggle and community for over 23 years including most recently as the Special Advisor to Sikyong, as Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to North America, and Chief Resilience Officer of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and the Director of the Social and Resource Development Fund (SARD). Through these positions I have gained a deep understanding of the issues facing the Tibetan movement and people, our needs and opportunities as well as the grave responsibilities of the office of the Sikyong.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s far sighted decision to devolve political responsibilities to an elected Tibetan leadership in 2011 has placed great responsibility on the CTA. My campaign will seek to unite Tibetans under one nation, one people, and one struggle. I will focus on the political, cultural and economic resilience of the Tibetan people and seek to sustain and expand on the initiatives of the current Kashag, boost the role of youth at all levels, and prioritize the five in the Five-Fifty Vision.
If elected, I intend on delivering on these outcomes through five priority areas:
- Elevate Tibet: Amplifying the voices of Tibetans in Tibet and strengthening the Tibetan freedom struggle will be the primary objective of the CTA. The Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) will be strengthened with a strategy for the key offices in New Delhi, Washington DC, Brussels and Taipei. The central relationship with the government and people of India will be further strengthened and a major initiative to create greater awareness and mobilize support amongst people of India will be launched. A campaign to highlight Tibet’s history as an independent nation will be launched to strengthen and highlight the reasonableness of the Middle Way Approach policy. The communication aspect of DIIR will be completely revamped and retooled. A strategy will be developed to create a Tibetan version of e-Governance and digitally transform the CTA and the Tibetan freedom movement. Greater visibility, recognition and direct support will be sought for the CTA
- Modernize the CTA: A digital transformation and governance plan will be rolled out to transform CTA both internally and how it manages and pushes out programs, services to community members and external audiences, and decentralises some of the decision making. Digital governance will also help CTA become a more transnational entity and push services digitally such as eChatrel, telemedicine, and eLearning. Core programs and services will be extended to diaspora Tibetans. A long-term sustainability plan will be developed by identifying new sources of revenue, cutting out waste and moving from the current welfare and entitlement model to more of an investment and public private partnerships approach.
- Transform Education: The entire Tibetan education system will focus on achieving quality modern education within a uniquely Tibetan environment while also strengthening the Basic Education Policy and integrating the concept of secular ethics as espoused by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The number of schools will be consolidated to under 20. A high level Education Council to provide policy guidance and performance review will be established. Two or more existing schools will be converted into excellent centers of education drawing Tibetan students from overseas as well. A new eLearning and ICT division will be established. The drive for quality will start early with a major initiative to create an Early Childhood Development program for children in the ages 0-5 years. A Next Generation Fund to invest in education of Tibetan children will be set up.
- Sustain Tibetan Culture and Language: The Department of Religion and Culture will be revamped. More funding will be provided for arts and culture. A major effort to elevate Tibetan language including setting up a Language Fund will be initiated. Preservation and promotion of all aspects of Tibetan culture will be prioritised as a core development objective. The CTA will explore opportunities to work more closely with the monasteries and nunneries to promote them as centers of learning and exchanges on ancient Indian knowledge and advance His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s fourth commitment. A new approach to health care that integrates Sowa Rigpa and Tibetan Buddhist practices to address mental health issues will be adopted. Cultural and language programs and services will be significantly extended to members of the Tibetan diaspora community.
- Enhance the Economic Resilience: CTA will enter into public private partnerships to promote development and economic self reliance of Tibetans. Ecotourism programs will be launched in selected settlements in India and Nepal. Efforts will continue to transform Gangjong Development Finance into a Small Finance Bank. Selected settlements will be converted and developed as Smart Settlements. Effort will be made to further strengthen trade and business bodies such as the Tibetan Refugee Traders Association and the Tibetan Chamber of Commerce.
The above objectives will be linked with a cross cutting initiative to recognize the importance of young Tibetans and elevate the ROLE OF YOUTH within the CTA and in the Tibetan freedom struggle. In addition to appointing a youth as one of the Kalons, a new youth division will be created within the Department of Home led by a youth with the equivalent of a Secretary rank. An international annual Summer Leadership Program program will be launched that will select and train a core group of Tibetan youth leaders. The Five-Fifty Youth Ambassadors initiatives will be strengthened so that more young people can represent the CTA and the freedom struggle on the international stage.
Let us move forward as one nation, one people, one struggle; think big; innovate and harness our collective energy and resources to regain Tibetan freedom, rights and dignity.