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<-Back to WTN Archives Dalai Lama, Mauritius back India nuclear stance
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World Tibet Network News

Saturday, August 17, 1996

2. Dalai Lama, Mauritius back India nuclear stance

NEW DELHI, Aug 17 (Reuter) - The Dalai Lama, Tibet's god-king and Nobel
peace laureate, and Mauritian Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam on Saturday backed
India's stance on a nuclear test ban treaty and demand for a nuclear-free world.

The Dalai Lama told the Times of India newspaper in an interview that he
supported India's demand for disarmament.

Ramgolam meanwhile told reporters he understood India's opposition to a
global treaty banning nuclear explosions and backed its call for nuclear weapons
states to eliminate their arsenals.

"We understand that India has a problem with the CTBT (Comprehensive Test
Ban Treaty) as it is now," Ramgoolam said after meeting Indian President Shankar
Dayal Sharma.

"Mauritius understands the position of India. Mauritius is for a nuclear
weapons-free world," said Ramgoolam, who is in India on a weeklong official

India has vetoed the CTBT being negotiated in Geneva and has vowed to
oppose further any attempts to send the draft treaty to the United Nations
General Assembly.

New Delhi says the draft treaty does not commit the nuclear powers --
Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- to disarmament within a
specified time frame and allows them to refine their arsenals through laboratory

India pledged to block the treaty on the grounds that it contains a clause
that will require India to ratify the pact for it to become law. New Delhi says
this infringes its sovereignty.

In the interviuew with the Times of India the Dalai Lama said: "I support
India's stand on the CTBT that all nuclear powers should make a timetable for
eventual elimination of all nuclear weapons," the Buddhist spiritual leader told
the newspaper.

"At present, what's happening is that an attempt is being made to prevent
non-nuclear powers from testing. This is inadequate... it's very important to
work for eventual elimination of all nuclear wepaons," he said.

Analysts say sending the treaty draft to the U.N. carries the risk that
India could draw support from other members of the 185-nation non-aligned
movement, who could seize on the occasion to tamper with the treaty's compromise

The Press Trust of India on Saturday quoted senior military officials from
two non-aligned African countries as saying they hoped India would continue to
take the lead at CTBT negotiations on behalf of the world's non-nuclear nations.
It did not name the countries.

Articles in this Issue:
  1. Australian PM will consider meeting Dalai Lama
  2. Dalai Lama, Mauritius back India nuclear stance
  3. China to Speed Up Natural Gas Prospecting

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