A Harvard-trained legal scholar was sworn in today as the new head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, taking over from the Dalai Lama as leader of his people's fight for freedom. Lobsang Sangay, who was elected in April by tens of thousands of Tibetans in exile, was surrounded by hundreds of Buddhist monks and nuns as well as the Dalai Lama as he took the oath of office in the northern Indian city of Dharmsala, where the exile administration is based.
Sangay has vowed to follow the Dalai Lama's approach of seeking increased autonomy for Tibet within China, which refuses to recognize Sangay's authority. "We will continue the Middle Way policy. We are also willing to negotiate with the Chinese government any time, anywhere," Sangay told a huge crowd that gathered for the ceremony. The Dalai Lama, 76, announced in March he would be giving up his political role as leader of the Tibetan exile movement, though he would remain the spiritual leader for Tibetan Buddhists.