Tibetan PM Elect Urges India to make Tibet "Core Issue"

Newly elected head of the Tibetan government-in-exile Lobsang Sangay

The newly-elected head of the Tibetan government-in-exile asked Indian government to consider Tibetan issue as a core issue between India and China in his interview with Indian television NDTV.

The 42-year-old Sangay has served as leader of the Tibetan Youth Congress, which demands Tibet's complete independence from Chinese rule.

Sangay says he will follow the Dalai Lama's "middle path" policy and seek regional autonomy for Tibet. The Harvard University legal scholar takes office in August in the Indian city of Dharmsala.

Sangay, a senior fellow at the Harvard Law School, won 55 percent of the votes cast in March by more than 50,000 exiled Tibetans living in dozens of countries.

India has played host to the Tibetan exile community since 1959, when tens of thousands of Tibetans followed their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, across the Himalayan border to northern India, to escape Chinese military occupation.

In the decades since, the Dalai Lama has played what many Tibetans see as an irreplaceable role as spiritual arbiter, head of state, and celebrity activist. However, in March, the Dalai Lama announced he would relinquish his political role, delegating administrative decisions to elected officials.