Kalon Thupten Lungrig, Minister for Religion & Culture as well as Education in the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, paid a visit to Washington, D.C. from September 25 to 28, 2003. Kalon Lungrig met members of the Capital Area Tibetan Association, International Campaign for Tibet and visited the Library of Congress and the Voice of America.

Kalon Lungrig visited the Library of Congress on September 26 where he was briefed on its Tibetan collection. He commended the Library for its contribution in providing the American public with an opportunity to get information on all aspects of Tibet and the Tibetan people.

Kalon Lungrig was invited to the Voice of America where he met with its director, David Jackson, as well as heads of the East Asia and Pacific Division and the Tibetan service. Kalon Lungrig informed Jackson on reports from within Tibet about the popularity of VOA’s Tibetan service. He said VOA was playing the important role of providing the Tibetan people with news and information in an environment where the Chinese government was withholding such information.

Kalon Lungrig had a meeting with staff of the International Campaign for Tibet. He briefed them on the current programs of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and exchanged views on Tibetan education policy, monastic education and the budgetary process.

Kalon Lungrig met members of the Capital Area Tibetan Association. He briefed them on the policies of the Kashag and the role of the Tibetan people. Following his talk questions were asked about the policy on promotion of life in the Tibetan settlements in the Indian subcontinent as well as on some of the circulars issued by the Kashag concerning the attitude of the Tibetan people during public demonstrations.

The Kalon was in New York, prior to Washington, D.C., and participated in the First Conference of Tibetan Buddhist Centers in the Americas. He also addressed the Tibetan community in New York.

Kalon Thupten Lungrig was born in Amdo, northeastern Tibet, in 1957. He obtained his Acharya degree in 1981 from the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Varanasi, India.

He subsequently underwent Teachers’ Training Course and then taught at the Tibetan Children’s Village School in Dharamsala. In 1993 he was promoted as the Director of the Tibetan Children’s Village School in Suja.

In 1996 he was one of three members appointed to the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD), Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The ATPD, in turn, elected him as its Vice-chairperson. In 2001 he was elected to the ATPD and became its Chairperson.

In 2002, Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche chose him to be a member of his cabinet. Kalon Thupten Lungrig heads the Department of Religion & Culture as well as the Department of Education.

While in Washington, D.C. Kalon Lungrig was interviewed by Tibetan services of the Voice of America and Radio Free Asia.