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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

'Even today Tibetans want to come to India'

November 24, 2009

November 23, 2009

BANGALORE -- China invaded Tibet because it
wanted the fertile Tibetan plateau under its
control. But the invasion would probably not have
happened in the 1950s if Tibet had been a UN
member, said P K Devaiah, convener, south zone, Indo-Tibet at Bylakuppe.

Speaking at a panel discussion on Sunday on
Indo-China relations organized as part of a
three-day festival to thank India in the 50th
year of Tibetans in exile, Devaiah said 80% of
China's water requirements are fulfilled by the Tibetan plateau.

"We used to have a peaceful, friendly neighbour
in Tibet. With Chinese occupation, we have to use
resources to guard the border," he said.

Thupten Samphel, secretary, department of
information and international relations,
Dharamshala, said that when Tibetans first came
to India after being such a closed community, the
only things they found familiar were the sky and
earth. "But education was an important driving
force. Even today, parents risk their lives to
come to India for their children's education.
Tibetans have managed to preserve their culture in India," he said.

Explaining the importance of the biodiversity of
the Tibetan plateau, he said it feeds all the
major rivers of Asia. "The whole of Asia has a
stake in what China does to Tibet because if
China diverts rivers, it will have a huge impact," he added.

Claude Arpi, French author and an expert on
Tibet, elucidated on the history of the Chinese invasion.

The celebration is on till Tuesday at Chitrakala
Parishath, and includes several films and exhibitions.
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