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The President of the Central Tibetan Administration,[1] officially Sikyong (Tibetan: སྲིད་སྐྱོང༌, Wylie: srid-skyong, Lhasa dialect: [sícóŋ]; Chinese: 司政; pinyin: sīzhèng) is the head of the Central Tibetan Administration, a Tibetan exile organisation also known as the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. Prior to September, 2012, this office was known as Kalön Tripa, sometimes translated as prime minister.[2] The current Sikyong is Lobsang Sangay. The Sikyong is the head of the Kashag or Cabinet, part of the executive branch of the Central Tibetan Administration. This office should not be confused with the Chairman of the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration
Emblem of Tibet.svg
"Truth in Love"
StyleHis Excellency
Dharamsala, India
AppointerDirect popular vote
Term lengthFive years
as Kalön Tripa of Tibet
8 August 2011
First holderChankyim Trekhang Thupten Shakya

The first directly elected Kalön Tripa was Lobsang Tenzin, the Samdhong Rinpoche, who was elected August 20, 2001.[3]

Before 2011, the Kalön Tripa position was subordinate to the 14th Dalai Lama[4] who presided over the government in exile from its founding..[5] In August of that year, Lobsang Sangay polled 55 per cent votes out of 49,189, defeating his nearest rival Tethong Tenzin Namgyal by 8,646 votes,[citation needed] becoming the second popularly elected Kalon Tripa. The Dalai Lama announced that his political authority would be transferred to Sangay while remaining as spiritual leader and figurehead of the CTA.[6]


Change to SikyongEdit

On September 20, 2012, the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile unanimously voted to change the title of Kalön Tripa to Sikyong in Article 19 of the Charter of the Tibetans in exile and relevant articles.[7] The Dalai Lama had previously referred to the Kalon Tripa as Sikyong, and this usage was cited as the primary justification for the name change. According to Tibetan Review, "Sikyong" translates to "political leader", as distinct from "spiritual leader".[8] Foreign affairs Kalon Dicki Chhoyang claimed that the term "Sikyong" has had a precedent dating back to the 7th Dalai Lama, and that the name change "ensures historical continuity and legitimacy of the traditional leadership from the fifth Dalai Lama".[9] The online Dharma Dictionary translates sikyong (srid skyong) as "secular ruler; regime, regent"[2]. The title sikyong had previously been used by regents who ruled Tibet during the Dalai Lama's minority. It is also used in Tibetan to refer to the governors of the states of the United States.[3]

List of Kalön Tripas and Sikyong of the Kingdom of Tibet and Central Tibetan Administration[citation needed]Edit

Kingdom of TibetEdit

# Name Took Office Left Office Monarch
1 Chankyim Trekhang Thupten Shakya   1907 1920  
Dalai Lama
Thubten Gyatso
(1879 – 1933)
2 Paljor Dorje Shatra   1907 1923
3 Sholkhang   1907 1926
4 Langdün Künga Wangchuk   1926 1940
5 Lobsang Tashi   1950 1952
Lukhangwa   1950 1952 style="background:white" |  
Dalai Lama
Tenzin Gyatso
(reigned in Tibet 1937 – 1950; 1937 onwards as Dalai Lama)

Central Tibetan Administration — Kalön TripaEdit

# Name Took Office Left Office Monarch
1 Jangsa Tsangy   1959 1960

Dalai Lama
Tenzin Gyatso
(reigned in exile 1950 – 2011; 1937 onwards as Dalai Lama)
2 Surkhang Wangchen Gelek   1960 1964
3 Shenkha Gurmey Topgyal   1965 1970
4 Garang Lobsang Rigzin   1970 1975
5 Kunling Woeser Gyaltsen   1975 1980
6 Wangdue Dorjee   1980 1985
7 Juchen Thupten Namgyal   1985 1990
8 Kalsang Yeshi   1990 1991
9 Gyalo Thondup   1991 1993
10 Tenzin Tethong   1993 1996
11 Sonam Topgyal   1996 2001
12 Lobsang Tenzin   2001 2011
13 Lobsang Sangay   2011 2012

Central Tibetan Administration — SikyongEdit

# Name Took Office Left Office
13 Lobsang Sangay   2012 Present


  1. ^ "President Is the English Title for Sikyong". Central Tibetan Administration. May 6, 2017. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Donovan Roebert, Samdhong Rinpoche: Uncompromising Truth for a Compromised World (World Wisdom, 2006) ISBN 978-1-933316-20-8 (On August 20, 2001, Venerable Professor Samdhong Rinpoche was elected Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of the Tibetan Government in Exile, receiving 84.5% of the popular exile vote.)
  4. ^ The Charter of Tibetans in-Exile, Article 20 of the Constitution of Tibet, retrieved 2010-03-19.
  5. ^ The Charter of Tibetans in-Exile, Articles 19, 30, & 31 of the Constitution of Tibet, retrieved 2010-03-19.
  6. ^ Dean Nelson Lobsang Sangay: profile, The Telegraph, 08 Aug 2011
  7. ^ Tibetan Parliament changes 'Kalon Tripa' to 'Sikyong'
  8. ^ "Kalon Tripa to be now referred to as Sikyong". Tibetan Review. 2012-09-22. Archived from the original on 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
  9. ^ "International Support Groups Meet in Dharamsala to Deal with Critical Situation In Tibet". Central Tibetan Administration. 2012-11-16.

External linksEdit