By Tendar TseriNG
Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay (l) and Kalon Dicky Chhoyang (r) addressing a press conference in Bodh Gaya on January 5, 2012. (Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal)
BODH GAYA, January 5: The Chinese government’s continued refusal to grant autonomy to the Tibetan people, in itself shows, that the Tibetans are different from the Chinese people said Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay at a press conference earlier today.
“For China, it is neither a constitutional problem nor an institutional problem. They have given autonomy to Hong Kong and Macau but not to Tibet because we are Tibetans, not Chinese,” said Dr Sangay in Bodh Gaya on the sidelines of the Kalachakra teachings.
The de facto Prime Minister of Tibet also made it clear that the dialogue process with Chinese government representatives was “not going well” as Tibetans lacked a sincere and positive response from Beijing.
“We are ready for negotiations anywhere, anytime if the Beijing government is willing,” said Dr Sangay. The last round of the dialogue process which began in 2002 was held in January 2010.
The new Kalon Tripa also stressed that his administration enjoyed the continuation of the legacy and authority of the previous governments of Tibet.
“Some people interpret as if one chapter has closed and another has opened. But in fact, it’s the same authority and legitimacy of the Dalai Lama,” Dr Sangay said.
Speaking on the relationship between Tibetans inside Tibet and outside, the 43-year old Harvard law graduate said that Tibetans inside Tibet know and respect his administration.
“I have never been to Tibet but the pilgrims from Tibet who have come here know my name and acknowledge me when we meet here in the streets,” said the Kalon Tripa.
Responding to a question on the importance of Tibet’s environment, Dr Sangay said that Tibet being the main source of fresh water for most of Asian countries, change in its ecology had direct implication to much larger population.
“The Indus river on which civilisations in India and Pakistan were based and the Yellow river on which China claims to base its civilization all originate from Tibet,” Kalon Tripa said. “Nowadays, people have to buy water for drinking but we provide fresh water for free. Beijing has to recognise that.”
Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay said that he was in Bodh Gaya partly to attend the ongoing ten-day Kalachakra teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and partly to preside over the various programmes being organised here in town, coinciding with the large gathering of Tibetans from all over the world.
Dr Sangay also expressed his gratitude, on behalf of Tibetans, to the government of Bihar for rendering help and cooperation in organising the 32nd Kalachakra teachings.