Indian Standard Time with CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay, hosted by Mr Akhilesh Suman, Foreign Affairs Editor, Rajya Sabha TV.
Posted by TIBET TV on Tuesday, 9 June 2020
Dharamshala: Against the backdrop of global trust deficit on the Chinese Communist Party triggered by the COVID-19 coverup and shifting attitude from a state of naivety to one of wariness towards China, the Beijing government is advancing one of the worst border tensions in the history of Sino-India diplomatic relations.
As the tensions continue to escalate along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), President Dr Lobsang Sangay led-Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has reaffirmed its support for India in the standoff against China.
The CTA President who was invited to speak on the issue by a dozen of news channels lately [Read here: India News, Aaj Tak, NewsX, India Today, Himachal Dastak, TV9 Bharatvarsh, India Today, Republic TV] has clearly stated CTA’s position on the border issue, maintaining that Ladakh is undeniably a part of India.
He’s also said that until the issue of Tibet is resolved, border incursions will continue. Whenever there is internal or international pressure on the Chinese government, it will keep making these sort of transgressions to divert attention.
On Tuesday, CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay was invited to speak on Rajya Sabha TV with its Foreign Affairs Editor, Akhilesh Suman, Foreign Affairs Editor. In the 8-minute interview published on Rajya Sabha TV, President Sangay discussed the CTA’s responses to COVID-19 situation in the Tibetan community in India and the contribution of the Tibetan medicine, SORIG in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
Excepts of the interview:
Akhilesh Suman: We are living in very difficult times since coronavirus has spread all over the world. Tibetans are a community that is also spread all over the world. In India, they are in very good numbers in different clusters. What is the situation of Tibetans in India, as far coronavirus is concerned?
President Dr Sangay: So far, not many Tibetans are infected. We have around 6 cases mainly in Delhi, those who visited hospitals [as of 8 June 2020]. Other than that, in all the Tibetan settlements all over India, we didn’t have many cases so far. We have set up quarantine centres; 83 community quarantine centres even though we have around 42 settlements. So we have made sure that wherever there is a cluster of Tibetan communities, we have quarantine places so anyone who comes from orange or green zones also, we put them in quarantine places before they move onto their homes. They must be quarantined for 7 to 14 days and then we also do testing if there is anyone with any kind of symptoms, we make sure that they do the test. Till the result is negative we also put them in quarantine places. So that’s how we have managed to prevent but unfortunately, 1 Tibetan died in Delhi and then few cases in Delhi so far.
Akhilesh Suman: In Delhi too, do you have a quarantine centre?
President Dr Sangay: Yes, we have quarantine centre but then in Delhi except for Majnu ka Tilla, Tibetans are living along with the local communities, so it’s quite difficult.
Akhilesh Suman: The quarantine facility that you have created, is it separate from the government of India or state government’s centres?
President Dr Sangay: It is separate because as per the Government of India’s directives, you must have quarantine places for people who come from red zones. But under CTA, anyone coming from outside, we put them in quarantine places irrespective of whether they are coming from orange or green zones. At the moment there is no cure for coronavirus. The only preventive measure is quarantine places and social distancing. We also provide them with Tibetan medicine and we sanitize the whole settlement. Some are done once a week, some twice a month. In that sense, we have been very careful. We have locked down all the settlements, all schools, and all monasteries. This is how we have managed to be safe so far.
Akhilesh Suman: Tibetan medicines are popular in many parts of the world and also in India, so how far are Tibetan medicines helping those who have been showing symptoms of coronavirus?
President Dr Sangay: Tibetan medicine is thousands of years old and it has a track record of helping people, curing even some cases of serious ailments like cancer and during this coronavirus pandemic, the Tibetan medical institute in Dharamshala has come out with the prescription of 11 or so medicine pills. The pills have various benefits: it helps boost your immunity; it helps with your mental stress and especially in coronavirus, there is so much mental stress. For mental stress, we have a Tibetan medicine called AgarSonga35 which is very popular. I recommend all the journalists, going through this tough time, to try Tibetan medicines. We have clinics all over India, including in Nizammudin in Delhi, and patients all over the world come to Dharamshala for treatment. We hope that Tibetan medicine can help many patients, obviously, it will not help you cure but it will help you with the pain and help boost your energy. There are many Tibetans who have taken the medicine and they have found it very helpful. CTA is distributing 10,000 packages to Tibetans above the age of 65, those working in the health sector and at the frontline and those who have ailments. We are doing the best we can and many are saying it’s very helpful.
Akhilesh Suman: What is the average age of Tibetans who are living in India?
President Dr Sangay: I think the average age is very similar to India’s average population, except for a few population in their 90s who were born in Tibet and came to exile after the occupation.
Akhilesh Suman: The Tibetan medicines you are preparing in the same way that you prepared earlier through the herbs or are there any chemicals nowadays?
President Dr Sangay: It’s chemical-free and mainly, the herbs are collected from the high mountains, so obviously, now you have to go to the borders of Tibet, from Lahaul Spiti, Ladakh, Sikkim and the Himachal area, all in the high mountains to get all the herbs and then bring it here in Dharamshala. This is where our institute is and this is where our Tibetan medicines are made. In a few cases, there might be few chemicals but I can assure you 96 to 97 percent of the Tibetan medicine is all herbal.
Akhilesh Suman: You have a separate team and group of professionals who go to collect the herbs from the high mountains?
President Dr Sangay: Yes, we have college-level trainees who undergo several years of training equivalent to MBBS and after completing the course, they become certified doctors. We send them all over the world, including India. Sometimes, junior students are also sent to remote places to collect herbs and we also hire local farmers and nomads to collect it for us and the trainees visit annually to collect from them.
Akhilesh Suman: That’s very good. Thank you so much, Dr Sangay.
President Dr Sangay: “Sabko hardik shukriyada karna chata hu”[Speaking in Hindi – I would like to heartily thank everyone].