By Tenzin Sangmo
Former GoI Advisor on Tibet Mr Amitabh Mathur on Modi-Xi Summit and Tibet. Photo Courtesy- SNi
DHARAMSHALA, October. 10: Modi should raise the issue of Tibet in the upcoming summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, said former government of India (GoI) advisor on Tibet, Amitabh Mathur in an interview with SNI yesterday.
The Wuhan-like summit taking place on October 11-12 at Mamallapuram near Chennai has already led to the arrest of 34 Tibetan students and activists by the Tamil Nadu police in a pre-emptive measure to appease China.
Talking with the SNI editor-in-chief Nitina A. Gokhale, Mathur said India could even suggest a meeting between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese President to get the issue resolved amicably.
“The summit taking place in the shadow of various issues aims at giving a positive direction to the bilateral relationship and we should bring up Tibet as a matter of concern for both regions.”
He attested that scholars in China had said the past dealing with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibet has failed. He added that His Holiness had expressed hope in Xi's leadership.
“So it is well within our rights to suggest a dialogue. We cannot let it be an irritant that will linger and fester.”
On the reincarnation issue that came up, he said Tibetans are anxious about China’s meddling and spoke of the recently held Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) special general meeting of Tibetans that passed a resolution declaring the sole prerogative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s and his office over his reincarnation issue.
“The installation of Chinese Panchen Lama hasn’t really worked out. The consolidation of Karmapa institutional legacy was also foiled when he fled Tibet. So they are desperate to exert official control,” he elaborated.
He recounted the visiting Indian delegation of journalists to Beijing in July to whom Beijing claimed sole authority over the reincarnation issue and send the message that if New Delhi doesn’t endorse their selection, it will affect the bilateral ties.
Mathur addressed the disquiet caused by GoI among the Tibetan people last year when it deterred Indian ministers from attending the CTA “Thank You India” event as a means to appease China following the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh. The event was toned down greatly which didn’t go down well with the Tibetans, forcing them to question India’s commitment to Tibet’s cause.”
In conclusion, the former GoI advisor on Tibet observed, “It is in India’s interest to resolve the Tibet issue as India has the biggest stake in it.”