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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tibetan PM speaks about Tibetan struggle and Gandhi's teachings

October 21, 2009

Y.C. Dhardhowa, editor
The Tibet Post
October 19, 2009

Prof Samdhong Rinpoche, Prime Minister of the
Tibetan government-in-exile, gave a public speech
in the city of Ahmedabad yesterday, after
attending the 56th convocation ceremony of
Gujarat Vidyapith. He addressed the topic of the
Tibetan struggle, as well as recent tensions between India and China.

"Of late, China has become aggressive in its
relations with rest of the world. Its dispute
with India has also become a cause of concern,"
the Rinpoche stated, citing the 2008 Beijing
Olympics as one reason behind China's current "offensive."

"The Chinese incursion into Arunachal Pradesh and
Sikkim in India are recent examples. Also, the
3,000-km-long border between India and China is
still under dispute. But the Indian government
has shown great maturity on this whole issue," he added.

Tibetan PM reaffirmed that stability in
Indian-Chinese relations is of utmost importance
to both international peace and the success of the Tibetan cause.

"But I don't believe that this tension between
Indian and China will continue for long. I think
slowly and gradually it will be resolved," he told reporters.

Samdhong Rinpoche expressed his satisfaction
about the Indian government's stand on Tibet
situation. He said, "In the last many years,
several political parties have come to power at
the Centre, but the official Indian position on
Tibet has remained the same since the Nehru era."

The first democratically-elected Tibetan PM also
praised Nehru's colleague Mahatma Gandhi.
"Earlier, people used to make jokes by saying
'helplessness is the other name of Mahatma
Gandhi'. Today the reality is that the world is
helpless and needs to follow the path of
nonviolence shown by Gandhiji," Rinpoche declared.

The Tibetan PM advised that Indians, especially
those who believe in Gandhian philosophy, need to
take the lead in making the world aware of the
path revealed by their country's founding father.

In response to a question about the "growing
impatience" among Tibetan youth, Samdhong
Rinpoche stated, "People who are in favour of
violent methods to resolve the issue of Tibet are
in minority. Violence cannot bring a solution to
these issues; it only complicates them. The
eye-opening examples are of Sri Lanka, Israel,
Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. We still believe
in our nonviolent agitation for Tibet's autonomy and will continue with it."
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