The President of Central Tibetan Administration, Dr. Lobsang Sangay appears on CNN News18. Dr Sangay said on India China Faceoff: It Was Once A De-Militarized Zone & It Was A Peaceful Zone
Posted by TIBET TV on Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Dharamshala: Following weeks of China’s transgression into Indian territory at Ladakh, it is now being reported that 3 Indian army personnel have been killed from “clashes with Chinese troops”. BBC and other media reports have described it to be “the first fatalities” for decades in a long-running border dispute between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
The series of territorial aggressions from China comes in the wake of its mismanagement and subsequent unleashing of the viral pandemic upon the world, causing inconceivable loss and destruction to both the people and economy. Despite it all, China has been undeterred from its pursuit of expansionistic goals seen in the intimidation of its neighbour, Taiwan and imposition of authoritarian laws in Hong Kong to list a few.
Against this backdrop, a number of mainstream Indian news channel have invited CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay to share his expert views on the matter, from the perspective of the exile Tibetan administration and experience of Chinese occupation.
Earlier today, President Dr Lobsang Sangay was interviewed by CNN News 18 about the situation at LAC and lessons to be learned from the Tibet issue—the six decades-long struggle of Tibetans for peaceful reconciliation with the Chinese government.
Excerpts from the interview:
Maha Siddique: Dr Sangay, many thanks for speaking with us. First of all, the situation at the LAC is looking grim, there have been 3 casualties, fatalities on the Indian side. Is the CTA concerned about this situation on the LAC?
CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay: Absolutely, CTA expresses its deep concern and in fact, any kind of violence should be condemned. The unfortunate incident of 3 jawans being killed is uncalled for because as it is, we were told that de-escalation is happening and talks were happening. This is LAC where there should not be violence. In fact, the gun should be pointed downwards, not at each other and far less, shoot at someone. So we condemn this violence and peace should resume. Historically, this was a border between Tibet and India, it was a demilitarized zone, a peaceful zone, Tibet was a zone of peace since the border of Tibet and India changed to China and India then all this tension have come up and continues to do so.
Maha Siddique: That’s a very important point, Dr Sangay. So I want to understand from you, do you see a template here of Chinese aggression?
CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay: We have been saying it for 60 years when Tibet was occupied, Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders said Tibet is the palm we must occupy, then go after 5 fingers and the first finger is Ladakh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. So we had incidents, and Dokhlam in 2017, now it’s happening in Ladakh and then there is pressure on Nepal, Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh, so on and so forth. So we must learn what happened to Tibet, this is a big lesson for India. Unless you know what is happening in Tibet or what happened in Tibet, you will not fully understand Chinese leaders’ mindset, their strategy, they have the palm, Tibet, now they are coming after 5 fingers.
Maha Siddique: So do you think that the Indian strategy of wanting a dialogue to defuse the situation is not going to help at this point?
CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay: Dialogue is the best way to solve any issue and that’s why we subscribe to Ahimsa, we believe in dialogue, it is the only way to move forward. Having said that, India has the right to defend its territory and sovereignty, so they both should go together because the Chinese strategy has always been carrot and stick, similarly, India should respond the same way. But never be the first one to take action or intrude. In most of the cases, it’s the intrusion in the border areas are coming from the Chinese side.
Maha Siddique: Dr Sangay, many are questioning the curious silence of the Dalai Lama on the issue. At this point, there is the expectation from New Delhi that he would speak on behalf of India.
CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay: Well, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been speaking about India, for India, for the last 60 years all over the world. He is the biggest and the greatest ambassador for India’s Nalanda tradition and Indian philosophy. Now since 2011, he has devolved his political authority to the elected position which happens to be my office, he has separated the church and the state. hence it is my responsibility to speak about Tibet and political and administrative matters and here I am, condemning the violence and warning people of India and all the neighbouring countries what happened to Tibet could happen to you, we have been saying it for 60 years, now it’s happening. So we have been saying this for 60 years, it’s just that people don’t listen. Now through CNN and other news channels, a growing number of people in India are realising the threat posed since Indo-Tibet border became Indo-China border.
Maha Siddique: Dr Sangay, you know, there were questions raised on the protests that happened in Leh recently, many believe that it was orchestrated despite knowing that it could have serious security consequences for India because India was trying to amp up their logistics as well as other support, on the LAC that time. Would you want to clarify on that count?
CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay: Well, it is for the people of Ladakh to decide and they have expressed it. As far as the former ambassador’s statement is concerned, obviously, he was a diplomat, the way he spoke, the mannerism, the civility which was lacking in his statement caused this stir among the faithful people of Ladakh, the Buddhist people of Ladakh, including Muslims who revere His Holiness the Dalai Lama. So out of reverence for His Holiness, they express their emotions and they made their stand very clear that they are the mainstream view of the Ladakh and the former ambassador is a marginal view. Some of the things he said about me are also not true. He said, I was in Ladakh already then he invited me to his centre which is not true, I was sent an invitation by him on August 12, 2015. At his invitation, I went to Ladakh to speak at his centre, I went to Pangong Lake because it’s a tourist area. A Tibetan flag was hoisted there for 30 years, still standing there. He says it is me who hoisted it and it was a provocative act. All these are not true, so people are correcting what he has said.
Maha Siddique: Alright, Dr Lobsang Sangay, many thanks for speaking with CNN News 18.