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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?"

‘A thorn in India-China relationship’

April 12, 2009

P. S. Suryanarayana
The Hindu
April 10, 2009

SINGAPORE -- The continuing presence of the Dalai
Lama in India "does not help" in its ties with
China, according to Singapore’s elder statesman
and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. In a dialogue
session, under the auspices of Singapore’s
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Academy,
he said: “I do not see the Dalai Lama as a
bargaining chip [for India] against China. … As
long as the Dalai Lama is there [in India], there
will be this thorn in their side. … 1959 [when he
reached India] was a different year. And, in
2009, the configuration of world balances has
changed. And, it is going to change in their
[Chinese] favour over the next 50 years, provided
there is no internal collapse.”

Answering questions from S.D. Muni, Professor at
the Singapore-based Institute of South Asian
Studies, Mr. Lee emphasised that the status of
Tibet "is off the table”. On an intervention by
dialogue moderator and Singapore’s
Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh, Mr. Lee said China
believed that the Dalai Lama’s reported
acceptance of the status of Tibet “is not his
true position.” In fact, the Chinese “need no
interlocutor” to resolve the Tibetan problem.
“They need time to bring up a new generation [of
Tibetans]: speaking Chinese, thinking like them
and integrating … into China.” Responding to
India’s High Commissioner S. Jaishankar on the
issue of rebalancing the world order, Mr. Lee
said: “My guess is that they [the Chinese] would
like to have in the Security Council only five
permanent members [as at present]."

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