Published By Bureau Reporter
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Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay Speaks with Rishabh Gulati for News X in English

Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay in conversation with NewsX : Several Tibetans are political prisoners today. The Han Chinese aren’t a majority. 60% of Chinese territories belong to other ethnicities | India needs to assert the importance of Tibet and take lessons from China’s occupation of Tibet | China is draining minerals from Tibet and exporting it all over the world. But China never pays a penny to Tibetans | Chinese govt facing a trust deficit today | India showed kindness 70 yrs back. India didn’t reject the Chinese occupation of Tibet and see how China is reciprocating India’s kindness | Video Courtesy: NewsX

Posted by TIBET TV on Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Dharamshala: The President of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Dr Lobsang Sangay responded once again to the escalating border tensions and the unprecedented facilities in the decades-long border issue between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, saying that the LAC where the recent violence, involving deaths of 20 Indian soldiers, took place was once the most peaceful border shared between India and Tibet.

The CTA President alerts India to take heed of the critical lessons from China’s occupation of Tibet in 1959 and Tibetan’s decades-long experience with the Chinese regime.

“This is what we have been saying when Tibet was occupied; lessons should be learnt from Tibet. Till Tibet issue is resolved, this will go on,” the President says. 

Read the full interview here:

Rishabh Gulati: The President of the Tibetan Administration joining us now on the telecast, Lobsang Sangay ji thank you very much for returning in a very turbulent moment here on News X so that we can have this quick conversation. How have you observed whatever is happening at Galwan has led to potential fatalities, maybe a dozen of people are killed. What is your take on this, Sir?

President: It’s really unfortunate. Just a few days ago, we were told that de-escalation is going on. Both troops are pulling back 2.5 km away from each other. So we thought there might be a peaceful solution. We hear about two casualties of a high ranking officer and two jawans. It’s really unfortunate. This is what we have been saying when Tibet was occupied; lessons should be learnt from Tibet. 60 years ago, Tibet was occupied, India-Tibet border became India and China border and since then, incursions, escalations and tensions at the border and now recently the violence is happening. Till Tibet issue is resolved, this will go on.

Rishabh Gulati: At what point of time that now we need to as an Indian establishment stop being so trepedicious on taking up the cause of Tibet as we have been for several years now.

President: I agree with you. The Chinese government has already said Tibet is one of their core issues. That Indian government should also say that Tibet is also one of their core issue especially for geopolitical security and for historical-cultural reasons. We need to address this issue.

When Tibet was an independent country, the border was demilitarized. There was no need for any army. Tibet was the buffer zone between India and China and peace prevailed so we must back to that scenario, that status.

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Sangay, how important is it for the Indian public to understand the only reason China is able to claim Arunachal, Sikkim, parts of Ladakh, the only reason is because we as India have accepted that Tibet is part of China under One China Policy. Otherwise, the Chinese position would not be tenable on any front.

President: That’s true. In the 1950s, there was a great debate in Indian parliament where Vallabhai Patel and Pt Nehru Ji and others participated in the great debate in the parliament saying we must criticize the invasion of Tibet and not accept the occupation of Tibet. Ultimately Tibet was occupied and then this year also marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and China,  which means India let go Taiwan and recognized China and also published China to become the member of UN Security Council. So instead of thanking India on the 70th anniversary, this is happening. This is how the current Chinese leadership reciprocate the kindness India has shown 70 years ago.

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Sangay, within Tibet from people that still reach out to you and your colleagues and many Tibetans who are residing in India and in exile in other parts of the world, what is the situation there internally, given the scale of the Chinese military build-up that’s happened. 

President: There’s absolute political repression. Tibetan monks if they have to travel from district to district, they have to seek permission. From outside the state, they have to seek the permission of the state level.  So that kind of insecurity is there in the Chinese government. [There is] Absolute political repression. Environmental destruction as you know Tibet is the water tower of Asia. All the major rivers, big dams numbering about 10 to 20 dams. Minerals are exploited. You had a very good show about copper mining in Tibet. 70 per cent of lithium comes from Tibet. Most of the products including smartphones and gadgets are cheap because they use Tibetan lithium and they don’t pay anything to the Tibetans. There is gold mining, uranium, you name it. All kinds of minerals are extracted from Tibet and exported around the world at zero cost to the Chinese government and zero benefit to the Tibetan people. Thats why Chinese product are so cheap.

Rishabh Gulati: What would your message to the people of Nepal, from the experience that you have just had. Over several decades of what the Chinese have actually done to Tibet?

President: What happened to Tibet could happen and is happening to Nepal. Be careful. Chinese government talks Ahimsa but actually believes in Hinsa. The encroachment that is taking place, the co-optation of leadership that took place in Tibet; the same blueprint is being used in Nepal and all the neighbouring countries in India, Asia and other parts of the world.

Unless you study and understand Tibet, the same blueprint which was used in Tibet is being used in Nepal as well.

Rishabh Gulati: If your government were at some stage and someday to return to a power of influence in Tibet, would that automatically resolve all border dispute?

President: Yes, we want to restore the historical status of Tibet, demilitarize border and declare Tibet as a zone of peace as a buffer zone. That’s a win-win for everybody including Nepal, Bhutan and all the neighbouring countries.

Rishabh Gulati: What is the hope and expectation of you as things with China deteriorate.

President: One should always remain hopeful. The internal tension in China and external pressure that China is facing and the discourse that is happening within the Chinese people. There are a lot of pressure points and the trust deficit the Chinese government is facing from all over the world, including 130 odd countries. Members of WHO investigating in the origins of coronavirus which happened in Wuhan, the Chinese city. All these things are factors and give us the platform and the solidarity and unity of Tibetan inside Tibet is very strong. So we are always hopeful. Sooner than later, freedom will be restored for Tibetans in Tibet.

Rishabh Gulati: There is a weakness in china right now that are being stretched at the Taiwan straits, in the South China Sea, Hong Kong, East Turkestan, and in Tibet. If push comes to shove, would you feel that the people of Tibet who are the ethnic people of Tibet would stand up against Chinese authorities and reclaim their independence?

President: They are already doing so. 154 Tibetans have self-immolated. They have burned themselves. Thousands of Tibetans are arrested and put in prisons and they become political prisoners. So various forms of protests are taking place all over Tibet. You mentioned Xinjiang but you forgot Inner Mongolia too. Look at the map of China, the ethnic Han Chinese dominated territory is only 40 percent. 60 percent of the territory belong to other ethnic groups or nationalities including Tibetans. The protest against the authoritarian, repressive system is happening all over China.

We certainly hope that at this point of time things start to change. My final question, would you at this point of time be hopeful that not only India but other countries around the world re-examine the One China Policy.

President: We would like to think so. Just recently 180 members of parliaments from 15 countries raised the issue of Panchen Lama and there is a big debate going on in US Congress and they are also pushing for the Tibet Policy and Support Act and in European parliament too.

All these things are happening and we hope they all will come and support the cause of Tibet.

Rishabh Gulati: Good to have you on the broadcast with us. Once again, thank you very much for joining us and at this point of time, thank you for the very important that all of us need to learn. All of us, a generation that has almost seem to forgotten of what the Chinese really get up to and unfortunately the Tibetan people have born the brunt of it for several decades. Thanks very much for joining us sir at this point of time.


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