By Lobsang Wangyal
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 10 March 2018
President of the Central Tibetan Administration Lobsang Sangay on Saturday urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue.
“As President Xi Jinping sets out to begin his second term, I urge him to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue between the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the representatives of the Chinese government,” Sangay said in during the commemoration of the 59th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day.
He said that the the Middle-Way Approach is a win-win proposition for both the people of Tibet and China.
He also demanded a UNESCO fact-finding mission to visit the Jokhang, Tibet’s holiest shrine in Lhasa, and investigate a fire incident there last month that destroyed hundreds of Tibetan artefacts.
“The tragic news of fire on February 17 at the Jokhang, Tsuklagkhang, a UNESCO world heritage site, is of great sadness. There are reports of extensive damage and loss owing to the burning of dozens of precious statues, hundreds of artefacts and thangkas and murals.”.
Jokhang is still closed to the public. “I, therefore, urge UNESCO to send a mission to investigate into the matter and send journalists to Tibet for an independent investigation,” Sangay said.
In a apparent reference to the discord within the Tibetan community following the dismissal of former Washington DC Representative Penpa Tsering, he said: “Some elements of regionalism in exile are not only a hurdle in the course of the Tibetan freedom struggle, but it also disappoints and dampens the hopes of Tibetans who have strived towards realizing the common cause.”
He pointed out that the Cabinet has the prerogative, and it can take any decision.
“In a democracy anybody could criticise, but if they are not satisfied with the decisions of the Cabinet, they can go to court.”
There are speculations that some supporters of Penpa Tsering are planning a few days of protest beginning the 17th of this month when the exile Tibetan parliament will be in session, to challenge Sangay’s leadership.
The chief guest for the occasion, Member of the Indian Parliament George Baker, expressed his strong support for the Tibetan cause.
A few thousand Tibetans and supporters marched down the hill from Tsuglakhang after the official function, carrying Tibetan flags and banners, and shouting “Free Tibet” slogans.