The “middle-way” proposed by the Tibetan government-in-exile seeking autonomy is a “futile attempt” to gain “legitimacy”, the Chinese official media said on Saturday. The self-proclaimed “Tibetan government-in-exile” headed by Lobsang Sangay has no legitimacy at all, a commentary by state-run Xinhua news agency said a day after the Chinese Foreign Ministry called Sangay a “secessionist and the ringleader of the Tibetan government in exile”.
The back and forth debate over autonomy as a solution for the vexed Tibetan issue between the exiled government started ahead of Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi’s visit to New Delhi on Sunday to establish contact with the Modi-led government. Wang is due to meet Modi, External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj and other top officials of the new government during the two-day visit.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, shot down the move on Friday, a day after Sangay proposed the autonomy at Dhramasala as the way out resolve the Tibetan issue. “Lobsang Sangay is a secessionist and the ringleader of the ‘Tibetan government in exile,’ who has never done anything good for Tibetan-inhabited areas,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei.
“The Tibetan government in exile” runs counter to Chinese laws,” he added. It is a secessionist organisation with an attempt to seek “Tibet independence” and has not been acknowledged officially by any government since its existence, Lei said. In its commentary today, Xinhua said the Dalai Lama might have claimed he has devolved his political leadership, but Tibetan Buddhism remains entangled with politics.
Dalai Lama formally stepped down as head of the Tibetan government in 2011 after which Sangay has been elected as new Prime Minister by the overseas Tibetans. The door for dialogue with Dalai Lama is always open. The dialogue, with only Lama’s private representative, will never be about the so-called “Tibet issue”, but about the personal future of the Dalai Lama, Lei said.
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Dalai Lama should give up secessionist position, stop secessionist activities and match his words with deeds so as to gain trust from the central government and people with concrete actions, he said.