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India’s ‘Tibet’ policy unchanged, assures exile Tibetan leader

President Lobsang Sangay. (Photo courtesy: The Financial Express)
President Lobsang Sangay. (Photo courtesy: The Financial Express)

(TibetanReview.net, Mar30, 2018) – Following a recent directive from India’s top bureaucrat, the Cabinet Secretary, calling on senior federal and state leaders not to attend high-profile exile Tibetan ‘Thank You India’ year events as they may offend China and upset diplomatic ties, with two upcoming events scheduled to be held in New Delhi being either cancelled or moved out, President Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has on Mar 28 sought to alleviate Tibetan concerns by saying there has been no change in India’s policy towards Tibet.

“Whatever we do, we don’t want to cause inconvenience to our hosts or to the persons who want to meet us. They may have particular reasons as to why these coming months are sensitive. So, we completely understand and respect that. There is no disappointment at all but rather an understanding of the situation,” he was quoted as saying at the launch of a ‘Thank you India’ music video.

During the press-conference launch of the video, three books were also released: India and Tibet: Ancient ties-Current bonds; Indo-Tibetan Relations: Shared Heritage, Shared Culture; and Kalachakra 2017.

On the question of India’s policy towards Tibet – in fact, towards Tibetans – President Sangay has said: “We have been here for over 60 years. The last 60 years has been good and India has been a great host. Hence, our relationship has been like a parent and child. Sometimes, parents have certain situations, which the children have to understand. And we respect that. We have no complaints. Therefore, whatever happens in the next few months, it is for certain that nothing will take place that will be a drastic change from the last 60 years.

For the last 60 years, the overall relationship has been very good. India has been a great host and that will remain so. About that, we are very confident.”

Speaking on his meetings with Indian officials in connection with the cancelled or shifted out events, President Sangay has said: “During the meetings, we had an in-depth discussion. So, I can clearly say that there is no structural departure from past policy on Tibet or His Holiness the Dalai Lama as far as the Indian government is concerned.”

He has expressed confidence that the Mar 31 Thank you India event to be held at Dharamshala will be a grand success.

Meanwhile, Indian online media reports said Mar 28 that India’s culture minister Mr Mahesh Sharma and BJP general secretary Ram Madhav will both participate in the ‘Thank You India’ event in Dharamshala on Mar 31.

Also attending the event will be Mr Naren Chandra Das of 5 Assam Rifles and the lone known survivor of the seven Indian personnel who received the Dalai Lama on the Indian soil when he made his escape from Tibet 59 years back.

The ‘Thank You India’ year is being observed to mark the 60th year of the Dalai Lama’s stay in India and the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet is attending the Mar 31 event.

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