It’s China’s 8.8.8. versus 9.9.9 of Tibetan exiles

August 6th, 2011 - 4:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Facebook Dharamsala, Aug 6 (IANS) Three years after China’s 8.8.8. (Aug 8, 2008) phenomena to ensure the success of Beijing Olympics, the Tibetan government-in-exile has formulated a different numerical tool to make the tenure of its new prime minister or Kalon Tripa a successful one.

In Chinese mythology, the digit 8 is believed to bring good luck. But Lobsang Sangay, the Tibetan prime minister-elect, will take oath Aug 8, 9 a.m., 9 minutes and 9 seconds (9.9.9.), according to an announcement on Facebook.

“Inauguration will be held at (Aug 8), the day Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) was born. It will be a public event at Tsuglagkhang, the Dalai Lama’s Temple in McLeodganj, with an address by the Dalai Lama and an inaugural speech by Dr Sangay,” said the post.

A Facebook friend and Sangay’s admirer wrote that the historic oath-taking ceremony on 8-8, at 9.9.9 a.m. is a very auspicious day according to Chinese calendar as 8+8=16 and 9+9+9 = 27. Therefore, 16+27=43 which is the age of Sangay.

According to an official schedule of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), based in this north Indian town, at “09.09.09 a.m. Kalon Tripa Dr. Lobsang Sangay (will) take oath of office”.

The programme relating to oath-taking at Tsuglagkhang, the main temple in front of the Dalai Lama’s official palace, will start at 7 a.m. and conclude at 10.10 a.m. with a photo session with the spiritual leader.

A senior CTA functionary told IANS Saturday that the date and timing of the oath-taking ceremony was decided by Sangay himself.

“The political tussle between the Chinese and the Tibetan exiles is now moving from political ideology to numerology,” he said.

This was the best numerical tool to counter Chinese’ mantra of success, he added.

US-based Sangay, who considers India his second home after Tibet, was elected in the third direct elections for the Kalon Tripa that were held March 20. He will succeed the incumbent Samdhong Rinpoche who was chosen twice to the post.

Sangay’s five-year stint is expected to be full of challenges, with the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, devolving his “political and administrative authority” to the elected leadership in May.

“Restoring freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, to his native homeland will be my number one priority after taking the oath of Kalon Tripa,” Sangay told IANS.

Sangay did his early schooling at Darjeeling and studied law from Delhi University before moving for doctoral studies to Harvard.

The Dalai Lama, 76, and his supporters fled Tibet and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.

He has since headed the Tibetan government-in-exile here which has failed to get recognition from any country.

Some 140,000 Tibetans now live in exile, over 100,000 of them in different parts of India. Over six million Tibetans live in Tibet.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at

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