Tibet and the Politics of Exile in the New Millennium

Tibet and the Politics of Exile in the New Millennium

Samdhong Rinpoche, Tibetan Prime Minister in Exile

On the politics of exile

Guest post by Majid Razvi

If “monk-politician” strikes you as somewhat of a contradiction – well, you might be right. Meet Samdhong Rinpoche, Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. His title contains within it a reminder of the current plight of the Tibetans.

On July 14, the Culture in Global Affairs Research and Policy Program of the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University hosted Samdhong Rinpoche as a speaker in the CIGA Seminar Series.

Ven. Samdhong Rinpoche discusses the politics of exile at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, July 14, 2011. Photo courtesy of Bradley Aaron.

Rinpoche began with an apology for his English skills, which proved to be better than many native speakers. He then declared that he was “not comfortable” with politics. (I am reminded of Plato’s hypothetical philosopher-kings, who would likely be not at all interested in the political position. Perhaps reluctance should be a prerequisite for public office! Read the rest of this entry »


The Tibet Governance Project at the Elliott School of International Affairs is a research initiative that advances new research, scholarship and insights into the challenges confronting contemporary Tibet through the lens of the governance paradigm. This publication will provide commentaries, reviews, reflections and critical discussions of topics that bring into focus some of the diversity of issues raised by the challenges of governance in contemporary Tibet.