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Exile Tibetans asked to rally behind autonomy plea in new drive

Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay addressing a press conference on Middle Way policy campaign in Dharamshala on 5 June 2014
Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay addressing a press conference on Middle Way policy campaign in Dharamshala on 5 June 2014

(TibetanReview.net, Jul22, 2014) –The Chinese government which must respond to it positively in order for it to have any objective meaning continues to be in contemptuous dismissal of it. But this has not stopped the exile Tibetan Administration at Dharamshala, India, from launching on Jul 18 a new campaign calling on Beijing to grant some sort of autonomy to an ethnographically defined Tibet under its rule. The campaign, however, is one to raise awareness about it among the Tibetans in exile, according to the exile administration on its Tibet.net website Jul 20, although the demand has been around for decades.

The Tibet.net statement said the exile administration’s executive head Sikyong Lobsang Sangay and his ministerial colleagues as well as all the departmental secretaries will visit Tibetan settlements across India to speak on the Middle Way Approach throughout July and August.

The statement said the top officials of the exile administration will also “highlight the remarkable achievements of Holiness the Dalai Lama for the Tibetan cause and world peace” as part of the administration’s decision to mark this year as the ‘Year of His Holiness the Dalai Lama the Great Fourteenth Dalai Lama’. The middle way was proposed by the Dalai Lama while he was both the temporal and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people and has been adopted by the exile administration as the democratic decision of the Tibetan people.

The Sikyong was quoted as saying while justifying the policy and the campaign: “The Middle Way Approach is a democratically adopted viable and realistic solution to seek genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people within the framework of the Chinese constitution. It is increasingly supported by the international community, including governments, parliaments and the Chinese people.”

He has described the “mass awareness campaign” as “a concerted effort on the part of Tibetans in exile to end the sufferings of Tibetans inside Tibet and preserve the Tibetan identity given the urgency of the situation in Tibet under the Chinese government’s repressive rule.”

The statement also said the current Tibetan public awareness campaign followed a successful launch of an international awareness campaign launched by the exile administration’s Department of Information & International Relations on Jun 5. It added that the international campaign was “aimed at engaging the international community – young people, diplomats, media, people from all walks of life across different nations — to counter the Chinese Government’s misinformation campaign about the policy.”

The statement said the Dalai Lama formulated the policy in 1974 and that it was affirmed by China’s paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979 when he said “apart from independence, all issues can be discussed” and offered talks with him.

Beijing has said the middle way proposal is against China’s constitution, vowed never to talk with the exile administration in keeping with its position that there is no Tibet issue, and remains open to talks with the Dalai Lama only on the question of his personal status in China.

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