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Tibetan radicals want India to "historical" independence of Tibet

July 13, 2010

Gaurav Bisht
The Hindustan Times
July 11, 2010

Dharamsala -- 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.
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