Tibetan radicals want India to “historical” independence of Tibet | india | Hindustan Times
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Tibetan radicals want India to “historical” independence of Tibet

india Updated: Jul 11, 2010 18:52 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times
Dalai Lama

While Foreign Secretary Nirupma Rao’s meeting with Tibet’s exiled leader the Dalai Lama has stirred speculations of all sorts, pro-Independence Tibetan hardliners asked India to review its policy towards the Chinese administered – Tibetan Autonomous Region.

A group of young Tibetan radicals met Foreign Secretary Nirupma Rao at Mcleodganj to deliver memorandum seeking reviewal of India’s decade old policy towards Tibet.

In the memorandum, the group of young Tibetans demanded India to recognize the “historical” independence of Tibet for solving its long pending border disputes with China. “We are also aware that Indian government still holds its decade old policy on Tibet saying TAR is part of People Republic of China and that has not been reviewed all this time while there is mounting military, political and environmental pressure towards India” said poet and Tibetan activist, Tenzing Tsundue, who accompanied the group of young exiles to submit a memorandum. “Only by recognizing historical independence of Tibet with which the Himalayan borders were decided through bilateral treaties can India validate its legal and historical claim over its Himalayan states which have been challenged time and again by PRC” read the excerpt of memorandum.

Radical leaders, disagreeing with the Dalai Lama’s middle way approach to settle the vexed Tibetan issue, stressed that they will continue their non-violent struggle for independence of Tibet. The Dalai Lama seeks greater autonomy for Chinese controlled Tibet, within the frame work of Chinese constitutions. But China has been turning down the demand saying that Tibetan leader was seeking Indepdence in guise. The nine round of talks between the Dalai Lama’s and Chinese government representatives have failed to break the ice, with China opposing Tibetan people's memorandum for Genuine Autonomy.

In the petition signed by more than two dozen, intellectuals, an exiled youth said that only Tibet’s independence can guarantee survival of Tibetan people and their culture. The two paged memorandum claimed that people living in Tibet were tired of Chinese oppression. “The 2008 uprising in Tibet is clear mandate that the Tibetans in Tibet are willing to die but not live under Chinese colonial rule” says Tenzing Choyeing, student coordinator.

Radical leaders made it clear to the government of India that they would continue with struggle for independence of Tibet, while they expressed gratitude for supporting the exiles. “We believe that Indian government long term interest lies in stronger position vis a vis Chinese government policy” added Choeying.

Majority of the signatories comprised young Tibetan leaders who were at the fore front of anti-Chinese campaign ahead of Beijing Olympics in 2008 when the young exiled Tibetans started a return march to their homeland-Tibet.

Foreign secretary Nirupma Rao refused to elaborate anything about memorandum and her meeting with the Dalai Lama. "I don’t want to speak to the media" she said when approached by Hindustan Times during her visit to Norbulingka monastery, seven kilometers from the main town. Rao accompanied by Gautam Bambewale, joint secretary East Asia affairs, stayed the monastery for more than two hours before she boarded a Kingfisher’s flight to Delhi from airport in Gaggal. Rao’s maiden visit to hill town comes exactly after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s special envoy, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon met Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jia Bao in Bejing to discuss host of issues.