Jan 2, 2021 • 1HR 33M

Tibetan elections in exile - Kaysang and Tenzin Jigdal (92 mins)

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A Good Refugee Podcast is your source for news, opinions and questions from troubled (Tibetan) minds.
Episode details

Happy New Year! Gelek and Choeyang caught up with Chitue (parliamentary) candidates Tenzin Kalsang (Kaysang) and Tenzin Jigdal to talk about the Tibetan elections taking place on Jan 3, 2021. They touch on initial thoughts about the upcoming election (02:10), the issues they want to highlight (9:05), how the Tibetan parliament-in-exile is set up (24:50), a literally earthshaking endorsement from Kaysang (70:25), dismantling the U-Tsang confederacy (77:30), and more.

Episode notes

  • Initial thoughts about the upcoming election. [02:10]

  • Why did they run in these elections as Chitue candidates? [05:30]

  • What are some of the biggest issues you wanted to highlight? [9:05] 

  • Perception of Tibetan issues as being monolithic, plus lack of class analysis. [14:10]

  • General lack of understanding of the parliamentary process. [19:00] 

  • Tibetan parliament-in-exile setup. [24:50] 

  • Is regional allocation (chölka) outdated? [31:05] 

  • What does democracy mean to the two candidates? [39:00] 

  • Religious sects getting 10 seats from the 45 total parliament seats. [44:50] 

  • Rangzen (independence) vs umay lam (middle-way). [59:30] 

  • How unity gets weaponized. [66:00] 

  • Sikyong endorsements plus EARTHQUAKE! [70:25] 

  • Dismantling the U-Tsang confederacy. [77:30] 

  • Respectability and elitist politics and how class and power intersects. [79:00] 

  • Why should Tibetans support you? [85:00]

  • Closing remarks [89:25]


Tenzin Kalsang is the co-founder of Drokmo, a feminist resource group working with Tibetan and Himalayan communities on gender justice. She is running for the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, as an U-Tsang candidate.


Tenzin Jigdal is running as a parliamentary candidate for one of the Dotoe seats. He’s an international coordinator for the International Tibet Network, and has also served in Tibet Action Institute and Students for a Free Tibet.