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Tibetan PM-in-exile vows to engage with China

Dharamsala , Mon, 08 Aug 2011 ANI

Dharamsala, Aug 8 (ANI): Lobsang Sangay, who was sworn-in as Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile at a public ceremony here today, said he will push for dialogue between other representatives of Tibetan exiles and the Chinese Government.


"If the Chinese government does not want to talk to me as a person or they don't want to deal with the Tibet administration, these are secondary factors for us. What we want is the result, what we care about is the substance," Sangay told mediapersons soon after being sworn in as the Prime Minister.


"If the Chinese government is interested to solve the issue of Tibet on the basis of mutual interest for long-lasting peace in China and for their own sake of territorial integrity and sovereignty, which guarantees autonomy for Tibetan people, then we are willing to carry things forward," he added.


China has ruled out dialogue with Sangay, saying it will only meet with representatives of the Dalai Lama and will limit any talks to the Tibetan spiritual leader's future.


The 43-year-old Harvard educated scholar said the misrule by the Chinese over the last sixty years had degraded the Tibetans to second-class citizens in their homeland.


"When the Chinese first came to Tibet, they promised a socialist paradise. What you see in Tibet is not socialism; it's not a paradise but a tragedy. So, we have to address the tragic situation, we have to end colonial mindset of the Chinese, so that we can solve the issue peacefully," he said.


Sangay reiterated his commitment to negotiate with Beijing "anytime, anywhere," suggesting his leadership would not be significantly different from that of the Dalai Lama.


He added that the decisions of his government-in-exile would be based keeping in mind the painful legacies of over six million Tibetans living in and outside the homeland.


"Tibetans have lost so much, they have sacrificed so much with the hope that one day, we will be able to return to homeland with freedom. So, I have to keep in mind the painful legacy of my family and families of six million Tibetans and the continuous struggle of the Tibetans on a daily basis. I have to decide and then take decisions on those issues," Sangay said.


Sangay, 43, was administered the oath of office at a ceremony in the central courtyard of the main Tibetan temple, opposite the Dalai Lama's office.


Sangay was elected the new "Kalon Tripa" on April 27, replacing the incumbent Samdhong Rinpoche.


Born in Darjeeling, Sangay pursued higher studies in the US and was a senior Fellow at the Harvard Law School before being elected as the Kalon Tripa.


Besides pursuing law, he also organised conferences and seminars which were attended by several Chinese scholars during his 16-year stay in the US.


Many Tibetans have termed his swearing in as "a turning point" in the movement for sovereignty, which has been spearheaded by the Dalai Lama, since decades. (ANI)


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