By Tenzin Monlam
Tibetan PM Lobsang Sangay addresses the media, Lhakpa Tsering Hall, Ghangchen Kyishong, Sep. 1, 2015 Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, September 1: As China celebrates 50th anniversary of its founding of the so called “Tibet Autonomous Region” today the Tibetan government in exile (officially known as the Central Tibetan Administration) reiterated its commitment to the Middle Way Approach, its official policy regarding the future of Tibet.
The Tibetan Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay who was speaking to reporters here today released his administration’s response to the Chinese government’s White Paper issued on April 15, 2015.
Syikong Dr. Lobsang Sangay was accompanied by Tashi Phuntsok and Sonam Norbu Dagpo, Secretaries of Department of Information and International Relations, and Thubten Samphel, Director of Tibet Policy Institute at the release of its response to China’s White Paper today at the Lhakpa Tsering Hall.
The Chinese White Paper, besides claiming Tibet as a part of China, also laid claim on the authority to pick the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. It also said the Middle Way Approach is not acceptable; and that the economic development and progress initiated by China has benefitted the Tibetans.
“Tibet was not an integral part of China and it was an independent country; reincarnation of the Dalai Lama is the sole prerogative of the 14th Dalai Lama; Middle Way Approach is still mutually beneficial approach; and the economic stimulus of ‘Give happiness and get stability’ is mostly beneficial to the Chinese,” Sangay said, responding to the Chinese claims.
“If communist China goes ahead with its plan to pick the reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, there will be an international pushback. The pushback will not only come from the Tibetan people but from millions of Buddhists who traditionally share Tibet’s spiritual heritage and millions more in the rest of the world who have benefitted from the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” the CTA said in a press release today.
Calling the middle way pivotal, Sangay said that Beijing can change its image by finding a peaceful answer to the Tibet issue, which can inversely help strengthen its soft power. “Subsequently, it will help garner trust from the neighboring countries and help bring credibility to the government in the eyes of people in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mongolia,” said Sangay.
Responding to the recent statement by the Chinese governments United Front Work Department, Sangay said, “It is evident in every history of a freedom struggle. They will be some disagreements during the negotiation and it is a part of politics.”
Central Party’s United Front Work Department on conclusion of the 6th Tibet Work Forum said on Aug. 25, “The Central Government neither did in the past, nor now or in the future will ever accept the Middle Way solution to the Tibet issue.”
The CTA said its response
to the Chinese White Paper provides “comprehensive explanation with regard to communist China’s scheme to pick the reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and its claims of not only territorial sovereignty but also its claims of sovereignty over the soul of the Tibetan people.”
The Prime Minister also raised concerns over the Chinese government’s plans to upgrade Shigatse and Chamdo to city level, relaxing the rules and allowing outsiders to set up businesses thereby leading to population transfer on a large scale and marginalization of Tibetans. Citing Lhasa as an example, he said the Tibetan capital has gone through such upgrade and now over 70-80 percent of the businesses and hotels are run by Chinese.