NEW DELHI: Tibetan political leader Dr. Lobsang Sangay delivered talk on democracy in exile and the case of Tibet at the National Law University and Judicial Academy, one of the India’s top national law universities, located in Guwahati on 5 February.
In his introductory address, the registrar of the university said: “It is a great privilege and honour to have the gracious presence of the Tibetan political leader, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, at our university. It is a Red Letter day in the history of the university.”
He expressed hope that the students will take inspiration from the academic excellence that Sikyong achieved from his journey from Delhi law school to Harvard University. He said the students should imbibe the ideals that he stand for.
Sikyong spoke about the efforts being made by the Tibetans to promote democracy and education to sustain and strengthen the Tibetan freedom movement. He said the form of democracy that the Tibetans are practicing in exile was adopted from India.
He said the maturity of Tibetan democracy was reflected by His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s epochal decision to devolve his political authority to the elected Tibetan leadership in 2011. He said the Tibetan administration remains stable since he took over the political authority from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in August 2011.
During the question and answer session, Sikyong told the students that Tibetans are firmly committed to Gandhi’s non-violent principles to resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue with China.
Responding to questions on self-immolation protests in Tibet, Sikyong said: “The cycle of self-immolation protests in Tibet reflects the level of the Chinese government’s repression in Tibet. Tibetans inside Tibet are pushed to burn themselves in protest against the Chinese government’s political repression, religious persecution, cultural assimilation, economic marginalisation and environmental destruction. The Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala has consistently appealed to Tibetans not to resort to drastic forms of protests, including self-immolation.”
He also spoke about the geopolitical and environmental significance of Tibet on the whole of Asia, including India. “India can a play a vital role in resolving the issue of Tibet. Tibet is culturally, geopolitically and environmentally connected with India. Lives of millions of Indians living in Northeast India and other parts of Asia depend on river water originating from the Tibetan plateau. Diversion of major Tibetan rivers and deforestation in Tibet poses serious threat to the people living downstream. Tibetans have maintained peace when they were guardians of its land and natural resources before the Chinese invasion.”