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Middle way’ the answer to Tibetan problem: Tibetan leader Lobsang Sangay

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Lobsang-Sangay-Wien-2012Dharamsala: Lobsang Sangay, political leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile, says the ‘middle way’ approach is still the best way to resolve the Tibetan issue.

The 47-year-old also said that his government’s policy was to engage China to resume talks.

“The ‘middle-way’ approach is still our policy. Regarding the talks, our stand is still the same,” Sangay, the elected head of the government-in-exile, who completes four years in office on August 8, told IANS in an interview.

The “middle-way” approach seeks a resolution of the Tibetan issue within the framework of the Chinese constitution.

Sangay said European Council president Donald Tusk called on China to resume a dialogue with representatives of the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Earlier, the US told the Chinese government to hold direct and substantive discussions with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions.

Also during the UN Human Rights Council’s 29th Session on June 24 in Geneva, concerns were expressed over the human rights situation in China including in Tibet, Sangay said.

The first political successor to the Dalai Lama, Sangay categorically said that there should be a dialogue “if the Tibetan issue is to be resolved peacefully”.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet with many of his supporters in 1959 and took refuge in India when the Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa.

Asked about his initiatives since he came to helm, Sangay said: “With the blessings of the Dalai Lama and solidarity of Tibetans inside and outside Tibet, the 14th Kashag (cabinet) has largely been able to carry out its responsibilities.”

About human rights violations in Tibet, he said: “The death of Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche recently is sad. This shows the continuing hardline policies of the Chinese government.”

US lawmakers held a moment of silence last month, expressing sadness over the death in prison of Rinpoche, a Tibetan spiritual figure.

Said Sangay: “Even if Tibet has been under occupation for 56 years, faith and fervour of Tibetans is alive and will remain so.”

He said despite material development, the people in Tibet were awaiting the return of the Dalai Lama.

Sangay, who has never visited his ancestral land, said restrictions had been tightened on Tibetans with a grid-based surveillance system.

Admitting that the Chinese government had built major infrastructures in Tibet, he said these were mainly concentrated in urban areas.

“Since 90 percent of Chinese migrants work in urban areas, the primary beneficiaries are the Chinese migrants,” he added.

The Tibetan exile administration is based in this northern hill town and is going to elect a set of new political leader next year.

The preliminary election for the Sikyong (political leader) and members of the 16th Tibetan parliament will be held on October 18, and the final election on March 20, 2016.

(IANS)

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India Today, Home to Many Tibetan, Afghans, Africans and Many Other Ethnic and Religious Minorities

There are many suburbs in Delhi where you find more foreign refugees than locals

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India, Tibetan, Afghans
Jews (also know as Yehudi) and Parsis (Zoroastrians) stand out in history. Pixabay

By: Surinder Jain

Hindus have been the most tolerant and accepting of people fleeing their homelands ever since people started fleeing their homes. Jews (also know as Yehudi) and Parsis (Zoroastrians) stand out in history. But India today, is also home to many Tibetan, Afghans, Africans and many other ethnic and religious minorities from al over the world. There are many suburbs in Delhi where you find more foreign refugees than locals. Local Hindus and every other Indian accepts them as a part of their family. India.

A very less known fact in Jewish history is the fact that India is the only country and Hindus are one community in the world where Jews have always been safe. The first dispersal of Jews happened with the destruction of their temple over 2,000 years ago and many Jews came to Chera dynasty kingdom on the ship of King Solomon. These Jews are known as Malabari Jews as they settled on the southern coast of India called Malabar coast.

They are also called Black Jews perhaps due to the evolution and adaptation of their skin colour to survive in hot temperate coastal climate of Kerala. Many evolutionary biologist believe that it takes not too many generations for any skin colour to adapt to black skin colour  in temperate climate. They also say that black skinned humans turn to white skin in a cold climate. As an aside, they also predict that human race when it settles on the planet Mars will evolve into pink skin humans to survive harsh Martian radiation.

Coming back to Jews, a second wave of Jew migrants came as refugees about 500 years ago to escape prosecution from Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions. These Jews were granted land to settle by a Hindu Chera king Bhaskar Ravi Varma who also granted them tax concessions and religious freedom. These Jews were white skinned and are known in India as Pardesi (foreign) Jews or White Jews as opposed to indigenous or Black Jews who had arrived 1500 years earlier. They established their own suburb on the land grant which even to this day is known as Jew Town in Kochi.

India, Tibetan, Afghans
Hindus have been the most tolerant and accepting of people fleeing their homelands ever since people started fleeing their homes. Hinducouncil

These white Jews as they preferred to call themselves built India’s oldest Jewish synagogue (temple)  called Kochangadi Synagogue in the year 1334. The temple stands and is in use by the remaining Jews. Another Synagogue of Jews which is in regular use can be found in the north western city of Ahmadabad.

Most younger Jews, after the founding of Israel, leave India for Israel. Many more are now calling, like other Indians, USA and UK as their new home. The number of Jews are dwindling fast in India and they may but remain in the history books of India one day. But as celebrated author Salman Rushdie has predicted this day in his novel The Moor’s Last Sigh, parts of which are based in Kochi. It is “an extinction to be mourned; not an extermination, such as (it) occurred elsewhere,” Rushdie wrote, in reference to the warm reception Jews got in Kochi, compared to the hostility they faced in many other places. It is, he added, “the end, nevertheless, of a story that took two thousand years to tell”.

India has another minority called Parsis (which means ‘Persian‘ in the Persian language) are a Zoroastrian community who migrated to the Indian subcontinent from Persia during the Muslim conquest of Persia of CE 636–651; one of two such groups (the other being Iranis). According to the Qissa-i Sanjan, Parsis migrated from Greater Iran to Gujarat, where they were given refuge, and given granted permission to stay by the local ruler, Jadi Rana between the 8th and 10th century CE. Parsi legends regarding their ancestors’ migration to India depict a beleaguered band of religious refugees escaping the new rule post the Muslim conquests in order to preserve their ancient faith.

Today Parsis consider themselves as much Indian as any Hindu of the land. Although there are only about 60,000 Parsis in India, the community is free to practice their religion and business. The numbers of Parsis are declining due to low fertility rate linked to inbreeding. Indian government has setup a Ministry dedicated to increasing Parsi population and subsidizes test tube conception.

Also Read- “I Know You’re Trying, but Just Not Hard Enough”, Teen Activist to Lawmakers

India is also home to Dalai Lama, a Tibetan in exile in India. After the annexation of Tibet by the Chinese communist forces, Buddhist monks were being butchered. A large number of Tibetan Buddhists along with their leader Dalai Lama fled to India. India, now a Hindu majority secular republic, welcomed them with open arms.

Tibetan refuge in India has three stages. The first stage was in 1959 following the 14th Dalai Lama‘s escape to Dharamshala in India, in fear of persecution from the People’s Liberation Army. The second stage occurred in the 1980s, when China partially opened Tibet to foreigners. The third stage began in 1996 and continues today although with less frequency. (Hinducouncil)