BEIJING, China, 3 May 2016
China Tuesday called the Dharamshala-based Tibetan government-in-exile “unpopular” in Tibet and its recent election for the post of Prime Minister a “political farce” as no country has recognised it in the world.
“The so-called exile government is not popular with people in Tibet,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing while answering a question on allegations of harassment and torture of people in Tibet.
“The so-called government-in-exile is illegal,” Hong said when asked to comment on the re-election of Lobsang Sangay as Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
“No country and government acknowledges such organisation. The so-called election is a political farce staged by this organisation,” he said.
Sangay, the 47-year-old ‘Sikyong’ or Prime Minister of Tibetan government-in-exile was recently re-elected, defeating his lone rival Penpa Tsering, the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, by a margin of 9,012 votes and receiving about 58 per cent of the 58,740 votes cast.
Tibetan election officials announced the result on April 27 in Dharamshala, the headquarters of the government-in-exile.
Sangay had said the election sent a message to China where people are “deprived of exercising their democratic rights” and termed it a message of hope for Tibetans in Tibet.
The Tibetan government-in-exile was set up by the 14th and current Dalai Lama who fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, and is shunned by Beijing as a die-hard separatist.