The Narendra Modi government’s public display of traditional Indian support to the Tibetan cause is a welcome move that would send a direct message to China, Prime Minister of Tibetan government in exile Lobsang Sangay said on Tuesday.
The 48-year-old leader said that while all Indian governments followed the stated Indian policy on the issue of a sovereign Tibet, the Modi government has decided to make ‘the obvious’ public.
Sangay, who had attended the swearing-in ceremony of the Modi government in 2014, said President Pranab Mukherjee hosting of the Dalai Lama at the Rashtrapthi Bhavan last year was an example of this policy.
The President had hosted the Dalai Lama and other Nobel Peace laureates at a conference on children’s rights.
In an interview with HT, Sangay said that political leaders in the past had met Dalai Lama in private but by hosting him at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President and Modi government had ‘publically acknowledged’ the obvious.
China had raised objection to the Dalai Lama being invited to the ceremony as it considers the spiritual leader a ‘splittist’.
The Tibetan sovereignty issue continues to remain a speed bump in the India-China ties but Sangay said that sending a direct message to China was the best option. “Sending the message upfront to China is the best way… For ten years now, countries took up the human rights issues with China in private, in bilateral formats. They didn’t want to be seen confronting China in public. The human rights situation in China and Tibet showed no improvement all this while”, he said.
Sangay criticised Nepal for being hand in glove with China and said the Himalayan country was behaving like the dragon nation’s “satellite”, which has resulted in those trying to escape to India from Tibet being sent back.
He also hoped the new US president Donald Trump would support the Tibetan cause.