Correspondent | The Tribune
LEH, India, 2 June 2020
Leh district observed a complete bandh on Monday in protest of the alleged statement made by former Ambassador P Stobdan against the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on a national TV channel during a debate on the Indo-China border issue.
The protesters claimed that Stobdan’s statement hurt the sentiments of the people of Ladakh as everyone, irrespective of their religious beliefs, revered the spiritual leader.
The bandh called by the Ladakh Buddhist Association was supported by all communities of Ladakh and the Merchant Association, Leh.
Market places across Leh town wore a deserted look as most of the shops remained shut during the bandh.
Meanwhile, Stobdan has tendered an apology through social media. “In the wake of Chinese intrusion in eastern Ladakh from early this month, I have been requested by several national and international media channels to give my expert comments. As an authority on national security issues, I have been making several geopolitical comments on the defence of Ladakh land and the nation. These are my personal views on issue and do not reflect the opinion of any organization or society,” the former diplomat said in a statement.
“His Holiness the Dalai Lama is our supreme religious head who I deeply revere. I have attended several (of his) teachings, including kalachakara. Therefore, there is no question of profaning him from the spiritual angle,” read the statement.
“These are purely expert geopolitical comments pertaining to border-standoff with China. However, if the sentiments of some people are hurt by my comments I deeply extend an apology,” it added.
As a former Indian Foreign affairs diplomat, and an “Expert”, Mr. Stobdan should be aware that the current border dispute is the result of India declaring Tibet a part of China. Venting his anger on HH serves no purpose. The solution is simple, declare Tibet an occupied nation and India can rest easy knowing that China’s claim to the disputed area will then be null and void in the court of world opinion.
P Stobdhen’s version reflects the opinion of factions in India that speculate Tibetans are included with China to claim greater Tibet, and as such His Holiness is not speaking against China’s intrusion in Eastern Ladakh.
During the second interview with Aaj Tak news, he mentioned that the Tibetan government had sent a letter to Pt Nehru right after India’s independence that India must return the Tibetan areas occupied by the British. Actually, he seemed associated with the group to get a written statement from His Holiness or the Prime Minister of the exile government to clarify that it will never ever ask India to return Tibetan areas from India.
In fact, does that letter still value for its claim and does China have the original copy of that letter? Does China have legitimate right with letter? Everything is expired and outdated for Tibet, but P Stobdan still worries for nothing. He showed less expert and more sensitive.
P Stobdan’s statement was probably approvable when Ladakh was under J&K Muslim governance.
Once the people of Leh got out under Muslim governance it is strange this learned scholar chose to keep dissing people in his district.