India should treat Tibet as core issue: Sangay

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 29, 2013 13:50 hrs

New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) The Tibetan government-in-exile Tuesday sought the international community's intervention against "continued repression of Tibetan people" and urged India to treat Tibet as a core issue in its talks with China.

Lobsang Sangay, the elected political leader of Central Tibetan Administration (Tibetan government-in-exile), told reporters here that 99 self-immolation incidents had taken place in Tibet since 2009.

Sangay, along with Penpa Tsering, speaker of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile, said the situation was "grave and extremely serious and deserves attention and support of the international community".

He alleged that family members of those who had committed self-immolation were being victimised in Tibet.

He said Tibetans were resorting to "drastic way of protest through self-immolation" and the government-in-exile had appealed to discourage such action.

Sangey said China was not allowing international media to visit Tibet and report on self-immolations.

"International community ought to speak out against continued repression of Tibetan people. We want to solve it (the issue) peacefully through dialogue," he said.

Sangay said India had done the most for Tibetans and they were nudging the country to do a bit more.

"It (Tibet) ought to be the core issue of Indian government for its national security," Sangay said and added that China termed Tibet a core issue in its discussions with India.

He said they were not saying that India should bring Tibet on the table in its talks with China.

"But when it happens, speak forcefully," the Tibetan political leader said.

He said United Nations' agencies had issued statements concerning Tibet and efforts ought to be made to exert pressure on Chinese government to allow its teams to visit Tibet.

"The situation is grave. The United Nations ought to visit Tibet," he said and added that the fact-finding report should be shared with international community.

He said there should also be a report to the Chinese government that "this is the way (forward)."

The two Tibetan leaders are in the national capital as part of a four-day Tibetan People's Solidarity Campaign starting Jan 30.

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