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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?"

Tibetan leader takes on China over Arunachal

September 17, 2009

IANS - 16 September 2009

By Mayank Aggarwal

Dharamshala : Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India, the prime
minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile said Tuesday, adding that
Chinese military incursions into India were a serious affair.

"Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and India is a sovereign
country. People living in India on a permanent basis have every right to go
anywhere in India. Then why China objects?" Samdhong Rinpoche asked at a
news conference here.

"The media in India gives undue importance to whatever China says. But they
don't give much importance to increasing Chinese incursions. It is very
funny for me. The Chinese incursions are more serious," he added.

Rinpoche's comments came in the wake of the Dalai Lama's planned trip to
Arunachal Pradesh, a region whose ownership is claimed by Beijing.

"His holiness' visit to Arunachal is only for religious purposes. He has
gone there several times in the past also," Rinpoche said.

The Tibetan prime minister accused the West, including the US, of pursuing a
policy of appeasement towards China.

"Today economic interests are more important than other interests. Therefore
a lot of countries have adopted a policy of appeasement towards China. China
bullies them and they do not react," he said.

"Today the West is afraid of Beijing. The entire world today is going by the
principal of might is right and survival of the fittest."

He went on: "The so-called UN declaration of human rights is considered a
cardinal document to protect human rights. But monks in Tibet were
imprisoned just for having a copy of that declaration. No one in the world
has the courage to condemn to condemn that.

"China's totalitarian dictatorship survived for 60 years only because of the
support of the Western world," he added.

Meanwhile, the Arunachal Pradesh government Tuesday urged Tuesday New Delhi
to act tough vis-a-vis Chinese claims over the state and ignore the Chinese
opposition to the Dalai Lama's proposed visit to the region.

"Chinese claims over Arunachal Pradesh are simply baseless and not correct.
Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and would continue to do so,"
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu told IANS.

Beijing in 2003 gave up its territorial claim over the Indian state of
Sikkim but holds on to its stand that nearly all of Arunachal Pradesh
belongs to it.

The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed revolt against
Communist rule, lives in Dharamsala, heading a government-in-exile that is
not recognised by any country.

India is also home to some 100,000 Tibetans.
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