Dharamsala: Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay yesterday said Tibet should be a core issue for India in its dealings with China.
"It has always been our hope that the Indian government makes Tibet a core issue in its dealings with China and urges the Chinese government to resolve the issue of Tibet peacefully through dialogue," Sangay said in an interview to IANS.
The statement by the elected head of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), based in this hill town in Himachal Pradesh, came on the day Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in India on a three-day official visit during which trade and investment are likely to top the agenda of talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said the CTA was not challenging the sovereignty or the territorial integrity of China but seeking "genuine autonomy" for the people in Tibet.
"Yes, we will immensely appreciate it if Prime Minister Modi raises the issue of human rights violations in Tibet," he said.
The political successor of the Dalai Lama said China has been propagating a so-called happy and prosperous Tibet while the ground reality depicts gross violations of human rights.
"The Chinese police firing on a group of Tibetan demonstrators in Shugpa village demonstrates the denial of basic human rights to Tibetans inside Tibet," he said.
Responding to the growing proximity between the two Asian giants, India and China, Sangay said: "A growing proximity of positive contacts between India and China, and for India to have good relations with all countries is welcomed by all Tibetans."
"We don't want to be an obstruction in those relations. What Tibetans put forward is a 'win-win' solution for both India and China. Therefore, Tibet should be a core issue for India and China," he said.
On the continuing deadlock over talks between the Dalai Lama's envoys and the Chinese authorities over granting more autonomy for Tibet, the 46-year-old Sangay said: "We remain hopeful that, as before, dialogue will continue between the envoys of the Dalai Lama and representatives of the Chinese government."
"What we seek is an administrative mechanism to bring all the Tibetan-inhabited areas under one single administration. Bringing all the Tibetans currently living in designated Tibetan autonomous areas within a single autonomous administrative unit is entirely in accordance with article 4 of the Chinese constitution and the law on regional national autonomy."
Asking the Tibetans in exile, who staged demonstrations in India over the visit of the Chinese president, to have legal, peaceful and dignified protests, Sangay said: "As always, a few groups have held some kinds of events whenever Chinese leaders have come to India."
The fact is that India is a vibrant democracy and freedom of speech is a part and parcel of democracy. However, any event has to be legal, peaceful and dignified, he said.
With the Dalai Lama stepping down from diplomacy and active politics, the elected leader of Tibetan people has acquired added stature.
The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan administration in exile is based in this northern Indian hill town.