By Peter Parisi
His Holiness the Dalai Lama relinquished his political control over Tibet's government-in-exile last year. He handed over power to the elected Kalon Tripa - equivalent to Prime Minister- in hopes of strengthening Tibet's government goal of winning some autonomy and self-government inside China.
In April Dr. Lobsong Sangay was elected Kalon Tripa, and on August 8, 2011 he officially took his oath and accepted office. Being the first Kalon Tripa to serve since the Dalai Lama gave up political control is a huge honor but also a giant responsibility. Past leaders could always fall back on the Dalai Lama for support, but Sangay has to back up his own decisions.
Last spring Sangay visited WCSU as part of the series of events building up to the Dalai Lama's visit. He was light-hearted and joked about being a Red Sox fan, a team he started rooting for while going to law school at Harvard.
His lecture at WCSU talked about the Tibetan struggle and the need to raise awareness. He talked about monks self-immolation- the practice of suicide through setting oneself on fire as an act of protest. Sangay's talk built anticipation for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will speak on Oct. 18 and 19 at Western Connecticut State University, and the public is invited to a free showing (video simulcast) in the Ives Concert Hall, 181 White St. To help promote this opportunity, WCSU students in the Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process Department's Advertising, Copywriting and Promotions class created a Twitter page and they are writing this blog daily.