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China presumes power struggle in Tibetan PM’s resignation move

June 16, 2009

Phayul

Monday, June 15, 2009

By Phurbu Thinley

 

Dharamsala, June 15: China has interpreted the recent move by the Prime Minister of the Tibet’s Government in exile Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche to resign from the top post as an indication of “troubles within the Dalai Lama’s circle”.

 

"There are apparently huge differences in the so-called government-in-exile," China’s newly launched state-run Global Times newspaper quoted Ma Jiali, from the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, as saying.

 

"It's possible Samdhong Rinpoche only used the resignation proposal to pressure other Tibetan competitors, so as to consolidate his power," Ma said.

 

PM Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, who is currently serving his second consecutive term in the office, has recently offered to resign, reportedly, to initiate mid-term polls for a new prime minister. Rinpoche reportedly proposed advancing of elections, due in 2011, so that new and younger people could hold office.

 

The idea of resigning was dropped after the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama asked him to stay on, reportedly on the plea that it would provide a negative message to those opposed to the Tibetan people’s cry for freedom.

 

"The Dalai Lama felt that mid-term polls to elect a new leader may give China a tool to indulge in propaganda against exiled Tibetan leaders,'' Rinpoche, who enjoys a charismatic leadership role in the exile community, later told TNN.

 

"I have worked for many years now and newcomers should get an opportunity to take charge,'' he added..

 

Prof. Rinpoche was specially appointed by the Dalai Lama as one of the deputies of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile 1991-95. He was later unanimously elected its chairman.

 

The Chinese media report also cited Hu Yan, a professor of Party School of the CPC (Communist Party of China) Central Committee, as saying he was not surprised to see a split among "Tibetan independence seekers." According to the report, Yan had been studying the “Tibet issue for many years”.

 

"I've known some Tibetans who followed the Dalai Lama in their pursuit for independence, but eventually dropped out after seeing there was no hope in that direction," Yan said in the report.

 

The report, however, provided no further details to assess the presumptive comments made by the two Communist officials.

 

An advocate of peace and non-violence, Dalai Lama says he is only seeking greater rights and freedom for Tibetans under Chinese rule.

 

China has; however, categorically rejected a written “Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People” after it was submitted to the Chinese leadership in November last year by the envoys of the Dalai Lama.

 

Many Tibetans, especially the young ones, who refuse to settle for anything less than complete independence for their Himalayan homeland, find it extremely difficult to accept the Dalai Lama’s middle-way policy that continue to seek a “real and meaningful” autonomy for Tibet within the constitution framework of Communist China.

 

China occupied Tibet after it sent military troops into Tibet in 1949. Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans fled Tibet in 1959, after a failed uprising against continuing Chinese rule over their once independent country.

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