#thankyouindia2018 event fails

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By: Ringzin Tsomo

DELHI – There is more disappointment in store for the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), who are the Tibetan leadership based in Dharamsala. It comes in the wake of Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale’s memo discouraging Indian officials from attending events hosted by the CTA. It has now come to light that the main event of the CTA’s year-long #thankyouindia2018 campaign has been moved from Delhi to Dharamsala.

Planned for 1st April 2018, the event was due to be held in Thyagaraj Sports Complex, a 5600-capacity stadium. When news first broke about the Honorable Gokhale’s note, it was speculated that the CTA shifted the event from high-profile Delhi to low-profile Dharamsala for fear of a spectacularly bad turnout by the Indian ministers. After all, no one would cancel a major event just three weeks before it is due to be held, solely on the basis of newspaper reports and without first corroborating with the ministers’ personal assistants.

Yet, we now know that the event was moved from Delhi to Dharamsala at the behest of the Indian government, known colloquially as “The Centre”. Why would the Tibetan refugees’ biggest sponsor, who has given them millions of dollars in tax-free aid as well as rent-free land for 60 years, suddenly make such a request? The only logical conclusion is that this is a clear sign of their eagerness to mend their relationship with China. As a consequence of this move:

  • The Chinese leadership in Beijing now knows Delhi is serious about mending their relationship, which severely deteriorated over the course of 2017 to the point it nearly culminated in conflict. In Beijing’s eyes, this incident will reflect diminishing Indian support for the Tibetan leadership and if they so request, Delhi will in the future continue to respond with pressure on the CTA.
  • To a lesser extent, Delhi also knows the CTA will be cooperative towards any future requests and will continue to expect such cooperation from them. Any resistance or hesitation will be viewed as the Tibetans’ reluctance to support Indian foreign policy.
  • For the arrogant Tibetan officials who act with impunity, sometimes even getting into street brawls with people who do not share their views, this incident will show all Tibetans that in the face of a real administration, their own government is impotent and without any actual power. They exist on the basis of another party allowing them to exist and when push comes to shove, they have many masters to answer to. The CTA has no power over their own future – living in India, they are allowed to operate thanks to the kindness of India. In attempting to fulfil their political aspirations, their success rests in the hands of China. In trying to improve the Tibetan standard of living in exile, their abilities are controlled by the generosity of sponsors (whether governmental or private individuals).
  • The news of the CTA being compelled to move their event from Delhi to Dharamsala will hurt Tibetan morale greatly. This is especially true of the Tibetans who live in Tibet, who rely on the CTA to express and act upon their aspirations for independence or an autonomous state. It is inevitable that this news will cause many people to lose hope and confidence in their leadership.
  • The loss of hope, combined with the knowledge that their own leaders are powerless, will encourage more people to protest against Sikyong Lobsang Sangay and his government. Already Tibetans in exile are unhappy with Lobsang Sangay’s leadership, protesting him wherever he travels to. In recent times, two people have threatened to self-immolate against the CTA, as a result of his poor leadership. This added embarrassment and loss of morale may encourage others to speak up against Lobsang Sangay and his government.
  • On the topic of poor leadership, the #thankyouindia2018 campaign was the brainchild of Dhardon Sharling, the secretary of the Department of Information and International Relations, who took great pride when announcing this campaign. No doubt her office will be blamed for the execution of this poorly-planned campaign that has met with nothing but embarrassment after embarrassment.
  • In defending herself against these criticisms of her successive failures, Dhardon Sharling will invariably have less time to attack groups she perceives do not support the CTA, like Dorje Shugden practitioners whom she was very proud to release a video and book against. She will no longer have the political clout necessary to be so brazen in attacking other people.
  • Dhardon Sharling is not the only one who will have to deal with a decline in political support. In seeing India rescind their support for the Tibetans, it may embolden other countries to deny them too. After all, India has been the Tibetans’ biggest sponsor for the last 60 years. Not only have the Tibetans received huge tracts of rent-free land, but they have not paid taxes for the millions of dollars in aid they have received. If India will rescind their support for the Tibetans in favor of a better relationship with China, it may encourage other nations to do the same because a precedent has already been set by the country from whom no one would have expected this.
  • The incident will also inspire more media to report the truth about the CTA, which papers like The Guardian have been doing in recent times. The CTA and His Holiness the Dalai Lama are no longer the untouchable darlings of the media, as they have become embroiled in scandal after scandal related to everything from money laundering, to sexual assault, to embezzlement, to suppression of religious and media freedoms.
  • No longer will people believe in the sincerity of the CTA. If the CTA were genuine in wanting to thank India, they would have gone ahead with the event at its planned venue, regardless of the turnout by the Indian ministers. In moving it to a location that bears no significance to the actual Indian population (Dharamsala is not an economic or political center for them), it reflects their real motivation for organizing the event to begin with. In actuality, the #thankyouindia2018 campaign was only organized in response to accusations of Tibetan ingratitude, which has been on the rise since the 2016 sweater market fire at Lal Qilla, Delhi. The whole campaign was intended to paint the Tibetans as having attributes such as gratitude, and therefore being deserving of more aid and assistance.
  • If Tibetans are not interested in events that celebrate and commemorate their own significant history, they will not be interested in events celebrating others. Now that it is known the CTA were told to move to Dharamsala, it seems certain that had it continued in Delhi, the event would have been very poorly-attended. However, the situation will not improve by moving it to Dharamsala – for their own events which hold significance to the Tibetans themselves, fewer people are turning up each year. For example, during the Democracy Day celebrations in 2016, only 200 people turned up.
  • The unparalleled prestige of holding an event in Delhi cannot be matched by an event held in Dharamsala. Unlike Dharamsala, the city of Delhi is a world capital, a global economic powerhouse and the administrative seat of the world’s largest democracy where the highest-level government decisions are made. Dharamsala, of course, bears nowhere near the same level of prestige.

  • Allowing the event to take place in Delhi would have been the Indian government’s indirect support for the CTA. A Delhi-based event would have been very high profile and required security clearance, permits, etc. from the authorities. At this “sensitive time” in Sino-Indian relations, there is no way the Indian leadership would have allowed the CTA to host such a big event in the administrative capital of India at the cost of Indian foreign relations.
  • The CTA has to remember the Indian government has already issued a memo against attending any CTA-hosted events. If their event had continued in Delhi and no one turned up, it would have been even more glaringly obvious that the ministers did not want to go or could not go, because they are all located just around the corner in the same city. In fact, prior to the news that the event had been moved to Dharamsala, it was revealed that former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declined to attend. Many other ministers, including the Deputy Prime Minister, did not RSVP.
  • By telling the CTA to move it to a more controllable location like Dharamsala, the Indian government essentially saved the Tibetans from potential embarrassment. If the Chinese leadership continues to protest against the event, it will be much easier now for the Indian government to respond by saying Dharamsala is the CTA’s own territory, so they cannot do much to stop them.
  • This is not the first time that Tibetans have been forced to downgrade. Most significantly, they were previously known as the Tibetan Government-in-Exile (TGiE). After the Chinese lodged complaints about the illogical nature of two governments operating in one country, the TGiE were forced to downgrade to “Central Tibetan Administration”, certainly less prestigious and powerful-sounding when compared to having ‘government’ in one’s title. This downgrade was very painful to the Tibetans, and something that Tibetan thinkers and essayists like Jamyang Norbu complained about.
  • The CTA needs to stop living in the past when they still commanded the world’s sympathy. This fiasco clearly shows they are not respected, and no longer have the sympathy and attention of the many countries who have supported them financially throughout the years. All it took was one memo from one minister to another, which was followed by a note to all officials, to send their year-long campaign into a tailspin.

It has been speculated that the Indian government themselves leaked the Foreign Secretary’s memo to discourage other people, such as Bollywood stars and Indian entrepreneurs, from attending CTA events in lieu of the ministers. If that is indeed the case, the CTA can look forward to even more poorly-attended events for the rest of the year. Interestingly, the memo and cancellation of the event was widely covered by the Indian press, but not by the Tibetan ones. Clearly the Tibetan papers are embarrassed by what most have correctly perceived as declining Indian support for the Tibetan leadership.

The Tibetan media have correctly appraised the situation but the same cannot be said of the CTA, who have demonstrated in the past that their normal reaction is to blame someone else. Given the CTA’s history, there is therefore the very real possibility that attacks against Dorje Shugden people will temporarily increase, since the Tibetan leadership need to retaliate and have to find a scapegoat for their failures. They need some means of redirecting their people’s anger and frustration against them, towards an easy target that has been unfairly vilified for 20 years.

Over time however, as more and more people join the Indian government in disassociating with the Tibetan leadership in favor of a relationship with China, the CTA will have no choice but to humble down. It has been 60 years of unchecked spending and unaccounted-for donations, and 60 years of everyone lauding them as paragons of the non-violent model of political struggle. These past six decades have led to a government that is arrogant, overreaching and overestimating their own influence and power.

Unfortunately, all of this news will only serve to disappoint His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who truly loves the Tibetan people and will perceive this incident as a loss of support for the Tibetan cause, and conclude that his people are not doing their job. This will not be the first time that the Tibetan leadership have disappointed His Holiness the Dalai Lama who has given his life to his people and unfortunately, because the CTA are driven by greed and self-gain, it will not be the last. Over and over again, they have embarrassed the Tibetan people and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to the point one has to wonder if it is intentional or something else. Because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result and given the CTA has spent 60 years antagonizing the Chinese, and has no results to show for it, perhaps it is finally time they try a friendlier approach to Beijing before it is too late.

The below screenshots display the calendar and schedule that was planned for the #thankyouindia2018 event in Delhi which were later removed due to the changing of venue.

The Thank You India 2018 page on the Central Tibetan Administration’s official website, which has since been removed. Source: http://tibet.net/thankyouindia2018/. Click to enlarge.

News from the Central Tibetan Administration’s official website, announcing the Thank You India campaign. Source: http://tibet.net/2018/01/tibetans-launch-thank-you-india-campaign/. Click to enlarge

News from the Central Tibetan Administration’s official website, announcing the calendar of events for the Thank You India campaign. Source: http://tibet.net/2018/01/cta-announces-calendar-of-events-to-observe-thank-you-india-2018/ Click to enlarge

At the time of writing, the Thank You India 2018 page on the Central Tibetan Administration’s website has been removed. Source: http://tibet.net/thankyouindia2018//. Click to enlarge


THE HINDU: Government’s discomfort was ‘conveyed’ to Tibetan leadership on Dalai Lama events in Delhi

Click to enlarge (Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/governments-discomfort-was-conveyed-to-tibetan-leadership-on-dalai-lama-events-in-delhi/article22940334.ece)


SCROLL.IN: Tibetan administration calls off one Dalai Lama event in Delhi, shifts another to Dharamsala

Click to enlarge (Source: https://scroll.in/latest/870935/tibetan-administration-cancels-two-dalai-lama-events-in-delhi-the-indian-express)


OUTLOOKINDIA.COM: Dalai Lama’s Mega Events Cancelled After Government Asks Leaders, Officials To Keep Away To Please China

Click to enlarge (Source: https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/dalai-lamas-mega-events-cancelled-after-government-asks-leaders-officials-to-kee/309145)


THE INDIAN EXPRESS: Dalai Lama events in Delhi cancelled, Tibetans shift ‘Thank You India’ function to Dharamsala

Click to enlarge (Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/dalai-lama-events-in-delhi-scrapped-tibetans-shift-thank-you-india-function-to-dharamsala-5087375/)


FIRSTPOST: After controversial Cabinet note, Tibet’s govt-in-exile shifts event marking Dalai Lama’s 60th year in exile to Dharamsala

Click to enlarge (Source: http://www.firstpost.com/india/after-controversial-cabinet-note-tibets-govt-in-exile-shifts-event-marking-dalai-lamas-60th-year-in-exile-to-dharamsala-4378039.html)


FINANCIAL EXPRESS: Dalai Lama event in Delhi cancelled, ‘Thank You India’ programme shifted to Dharamsala, here is why

Click to enlarge (Source: http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/dalai-lama-event-in-delhi-cancelled-thank-you-india-programme-shifted-to-dharamsala-here-is-why-india-china-tibet/1088630/)


Addendum: Dalai Lama snubs Indian leaders as he is perhaps upset they snubbed him

Following on with the story that Indian officials asked the Central Tibetan Administration to move their celebrations away from Delhi, the Dalai Lama is reported to be be upset that the incident took place. In return, he has rejected attending an event which the President of India, Narendra Modi will be attending, showing his dissatisfaction.

Click to enlarge. (Source: https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/dalai-rejects-invite-215327)


Addendum: Indian minister rejects Central Tibetan Administration

Indian minister Kishan Kapoor did not turn up to an official Tibetan function to commemorate the 59th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day. As a Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Dharamsala constituency and State Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Kishan Kapoor was originally announced as the Chief Guest for the event. In light of recent events, with the leak of an official Indian government memo directing ministers and officials not to attend Tibetan-related activities, it is clear that Kishan Kapoor was towing the line.

Following the cancelation of “Thank You India” events in Delhi and the banning of the Tibetan Uprising Day rallies in the India’s capital, it is clear that the Indian government think attending such events may harm Sino-Indian ties. Kishan Kapoor’s absence is a clear indication that the Indian government is now placing more importance on pleasing China than worrying about Tibetan sentiments. After all, it is in global interest that India and China mend their relationship. No one wants to see another Doklam standoff.

Click to enlarge. (Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/shimla/himachal-minister-skips-dharamsala-tibetan-function/articleshow/63249334.cms)


Addendum: Not Delhi or Dharamsala stadium, but a temple compound

After Indian ministers refused to attend the “Thank You India” events organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), officials have even asked the Tibetan leadership to move the event to Dharamsala instead of Delhi. The Indian officials did not want to jeopardize improving relations with China. Unfortunately, the venue of the event was re-located to a temple compound in Dharamsala, rather than a stadium. These incidents are clear signs that India is starting to abandon the Tibetans to get on China’s good side. Any country would do the same when it comes to the welfare of its citizens. This is even more so for India, because the Tibetans have never repaid India’s kindness. It does not make sense for India to continue to protect the Tibetans and jeopardize India-China relations. 1.3 billion Indians are definitely more important than a handful of Tibetans.

Click to enlarge. (Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/dalai-lama-event-not-delhi-or-dharamsala-stadium-but-temple-zone/articleshow/63324851.cms)

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  1. 嘻嘻, 现在藏人行政中央想做马屁精都做不到, 只被印度政府喷到一脸屁。

    多年来流亡藏人在印度完全没有任何经济贡献, 只是印度的寄身虫。 一直以流亡难民自居来骗取捐款。 而筹得的款项并没有真正用在流亡藏民身上, 只是成为藏人行政中央高层满足私欲的筹码。

    现在印度和中国之间的关系已经不像以前那么冰冷, 或许未来还会有更好的贸易和外交关系。 到时藏人行政中央就没有机会再继续利用印度了。

    藏人行政中央也多少知道未来印度的动向对他们不利, 想垂死挣扎办“谢谢印度”活动来拍印度马屁。 怎么知道他们是折了夫人又拆兵, 印度并不买账, 更指示藏人行政中央把活动从新德里搬到Dharamsala。 明显是不想让藏人行政中央举办这场秀。 也不想得罪中国政府。

    嘻嘻, 藏人行政中央, 等着你们的报应吧, 你们多年来一直对藏民和多杰雄登修持者做的坏事都会回到你们身上。 😆🤣🤡😂

  2. There were some speculations that India’s objectives in slighting the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) could be because of a prior agreement with China.

    Coincidentally, Foreign Secretary Gokhale’s note leaked a day before the foreign secretary visited Beijing, and now we hear news that Indian ministers have scheduled to meet their Chinese counterparts to prepare for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in June.

    We may never know the real reason is for India’s sudden turn around to appease China. But one thing’s for sure, India will not allow the Tibetans to engage in anti-China activities from now onwards. Like what the article said, “…for India, the Tibetan story was over.”

    Letting Go Of The Dalai Lama And Tibet
    by Bharat Bhushan
    Updated on 21 March 2018, 6:57 PM
    Published on 21 March 2018, 6:57 PM
    The Tibetans in exile must be dismayed after India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale wrote to Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha on Feb. 22 that Indian government officials be advised to skip events organised by the Tibetan Administration in exile. It is not at all certain that the payback from China for alienating the Dalai Lama is going to be commensurate with India’s act.
    India’s objectives in slighting the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), as the Tibetan government in exile is known, and indirectly the Dalai Lama, remain unclear. No one knows what understanding, if any, has been reached with China prompting such action. However, its negative consequences are already at play.
    The Dalai Lama effectively un-invited himself from the plenary session of the Indian Science Congress in Manipur. Reluctant to embarrass the Indian government, the Tibetan leader turned down the invitation to be present at the plenary session with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. To allow a face-saver, his office claimed that the invitation, which the organisers said had been extended two months ago, was never received by him.
    The Dalai Lama is also bound to have been deeply embarrassed, as Gokhale’s directive was leaked in the midst of his thirty-third ‘Mind & Life’ dialogue – an annual debate between science and religion. At that time, he was hosting 200 eminent scientists from all over the world at Dharamshala.
    The charitable interpretation of what Gokhale, an experienced China hand, did would be that his advisory related to only one particular event. The Central Tibetan Administration had planned a massive ‘Thank You India’ event in Delhi to mark 60 years of the Dalai Lama’s exile from Tibet and to acknowledge Indian support for the exiled Tibetan community in the country. The mega-event would have seen an inter-faith meeting at Rajghat and a gathering of nearly 7,000 people at Thyagaraja Stadium in the Capital in the presence of several Indian political leaders. There were plans to invite former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, LK Advani, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijuju, the Vice President of India and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
    Such a high profile Tibetan event would have irritated China to no end.
    It was cancelled hastily after the foreign secretary’s note, shifted to Dharamshala, and downscaled.
    If Foreign Secretary Gokhale was sending a message only to the CTA then the entire episode could have been handled differently. Gokhale has been Indian Ambassador to China as well Joint Secretary (East), the point person in the Ministry of External Affairs for dealing not only with China but also with the Dalai Lama and the CTA. He could have advised the current Joint Secretary (East) to have a quiet word with the ‘Prime Minister’ of the CTA, Lobsang Sangay, who would have complied with the Indian request, and that would have settled the matter.
    That the letter was leaked a day before the foreign secretary was visiting Beijing suggests that a message was also being sent to China – that India would not allow the Dalai Lama to agitate the Tibet issue in India publicly.
    In this scenario, putting curbs on the activities of the Dalai Lama and the CTA in effect would mean that for India, the Tibetan story was over.
    India may also have been upset with the Dalai Lama trying to negotiate with the Chinese keeping it out of the loop. It is an open secret that the Dalai Lama has been in contact with the Chinese for a settlement. Since 1974, his position has been to seek a settlement within China instead of pushing for Tibetan independence. The secretive visit of his emissary and former prime minister of the CTA, Samdong Rinpoche to China in mid-November, where he is believed to have met Chinese officials, might have upset South Block.
    If the Dalai Lama is seen playing ducks and drakes with India, then there is every reason for India to keep off and not be used by the Tibetans in exile.
    The Indian fear may be that in a deal with Beijing, the Dalai Lama concedes that Tibet was always a part of China, then that would undermine Indian position on the McMahon Line, which India considers as the legal boundary between Tibet and its north-eastern region. China rejects the McMahon Line, which is based on the Simla Accord of 1914 signed between Tibet, China, and Great Britain (as the ruler of British India). China claims that Tibet was not a sovereign state and therefore was not qualified to sign any treaties.
    As of now, there is no indication that the Dalai Lama has conceded the Chinese demand that Tibet was always a part of China.
    Nor has he accepted the ‘One China’ policy, i.e. that Taiwan and Tibet are integral parts of China.
    What might be the quid pro quo for India by curbing the activities of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan exiles? India ratcheted up tensions with China in 2017 through a series of events culminating in the Doklam stand-off on the Bhutan-China border. Its questionable resolution which was widely projected as Indian ‘victory’, it now turns out, only helped entrench the Chinese forces on the plateau. The Chinese presence there has increased manifold. And the Indian Army, in its proxy role for the Bhutanese, is no longer able to patrol the disputed area it used to earlier.
    Why would those given to rolling up their sleeves to take on China’s might, suddenly take a U-turn?
    Perhaps the new foreign secretary wants to change the atmospherics of Sino-Indian ties before the upcoming preparatory ministerial meetings for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The visits of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj can facilitate a successful visit by Prime Minister Modi to the SCO summit at Qingdao in June.
    There may also have been a more immediate reason for appeasing the Chinese — to secure Chinese support for putting Pakistan on the ‘grey list’ of countries funding terrorism in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international money laundering watch-dog. This would subject Pakistan to intense monitoring and scrutiny by the International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG) on terror financing. However, the reciprocity at FATF is already in the open – India supported China’s candidature for Vice President of the FATF and in turn, China withdrew its objections to Pakistan being put on the ‘grey list’.
    Could it be that by distancing itself from the Dalai Lama, India hopes that China would become more amenable to its membership of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG)? The prospects for that are bleak as China has linked India’s candidature for the NSG with Pakistan being given entry as a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
    Perhaps India expects that China now stands with it and not Pakistan on designating Jaish-e-Mohammad Chief Maulana Masood Azhar as an international terrorist by the United Nations. That too does not seem reasonable and is too small a gesture. In any case, knowing Pakistan, Masood Azhar’s designation as an international terrorist is likely to be as ineffective on the ground as that of Hafiz Saeed’s.
    There may be no immediate or substantial gains from curbing the activities of the Dalai Lama and the CTA in India.
    However, what is clear is that a ‘muscular’ government which had invited Lobsang Sangay to the inauguration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2014 along with heads of states from South Asia has taken a step back. In doing so it has lost leverage in dealing with China.
    It may, therefore, no longer be possible for the South Block mandarins to parade the Dalai Lama at will in Arunachal Pradesh to rile the Chinese as they did in April 2017. Nor would it possible to fly the ‘Prime Minister’ of the CTA, Lobsang Sangay to unfurl the Tibetan flag “metres from Tibet” at Pangong Lake in Ladakh to snub Beijing; or ‘allow’ Tibetan protests outside the Chinese Embassy whenever a dignitary from that country visited India.
    There is also a possibility that some Tibetans youngsters – frustrated with the ineffectiveness of the Dalai Lama’s ‘middle path’ and the Indian government’s stance – may choose a different, less peaceful approach to struggle for Tibetan independence.
    Bharat Bhushan is a journalist based in Delhi.
    The views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of Bloomberg Quint or its editorial team.


  3. India banning Tibetans from hosting a rally with the Dalai Lama this month for the 60th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule is a clear sign that India wants to improve ties with China.

    China said that it is “willing to keep up the good momentum of two-way cooperation with India,” while the Indian side mentioned that India and China agreed to consult each other on regional and international issues.

    You can’t really fault India for doing so. After all, it was His Holiness the Dalai Lama who batted for the recognition of the “Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai” (India and China are brothers) spirit to take Sino-Indian relations forward.

    India’s Modi, China’s Xi ready to improve bilateral ties
    Published: March 21, 2018 8:26 am On: World
    BEIJING/ NEW DELHI: India and China agreed to consult each other on regional and international issues, the Indian side said after a phone call on Tuesday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
    Relations between the two countries have been tense since last year after their troops faced off on a disputed part of their border. On Tuesday Modi called Xi to congratulate him on his re-election.“The two leaders agreed that as two major powers growing rapidly, bilateral relations between India and China are vital for the realisation of 21st Century as ‘Asian Century’,” Modi’s office said in a statement.
    Hundreds of troops were deployed in 2017 on the Doklam plateau, near the borders of India, its ally Bhutan, and China after New Delhi objected to Chinese construction of a road through the mountainous area in their most serious standoff in years.
    China is willing to keep up the good momentum of two-way cooperation with India, Xi told Modi, China’s state news agency Xinhua said.
    China is ready to enhance communication with Modi on long-term, strategic bilateral issues to promote political mutual trust, Xi added.
    China was also angered by Modi’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh, a state in northeast India claimed by China.
    In a bid to improve ties with China, India banned Tibetans from hosting a rally with the Dalai Lama this month to mark the 60th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule. Beijing regards the Tibetan spiritual leader as a splittist.


  4. The Tibetan government in exile has been dumped by the Indian government for a bigger prize: China. For years, the Tibetan government in exile would accuse Dorje Shugden people of taking money from the Chinese but everyone knows that this is not true. Now even their host, India, will be friends with China. Everyone will be friends with China sooner or later, and the Tibetan leadership beg to be as well. The Tibetan leadership shouldn’t have messed with Dorje Shugden people. Too bad for you! And when the Tibetan leadership is friends with China, what will they accuse the Dorje Shugden people of then???

    Is India abruptly dumping Dalai Lama to be in China’s good books?
    By S. N. M. Abdi
    Special to Al Arabiya English
    Wednesday, 21 March 2018
    New Delhi has suddenly ditched the Dalai Lama – the Nobel Prize winning Tibetan spiritual leader who runs a government-in-exile from India – apparently to mend fences with an increasingly assertive China.
    The Dalai Lama has been a revered guest in India for 60 long years after he crossed the Himalayan border to escape the wrath of communist China.
    Since 1959, successive governments in New Delhi generously hosted him and his Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) headquartered in Dharamsala along with 95,000 Tibetan refugees, even as Beijing accused India of sheltering China’s Enemy Number 1 and threatened reprisals.
    New Delhi’s brave and principled stand was lauded globally and the Dalai Lama – one of the world’s most recognized faces and a human rights icon – emotionally described himself last year as a “son” of India. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government seems to have just dropped the Dalai Lama like a hot potato inviting charges of capitulation and kowtowing to China.
    The volte-face is evident from India’s new Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale’s top secret note to Cabinet Secretary P. K. Sinha to ensure that “senior leaders” and “government functionaries” boycott CTA’s events from March 31 to mark the 60th year of the Dalai Lama’s arrival in the country.
    Gokhale’s confidential memo published verbatim by the Indian Express newspaper said: “The proposed period (March 31 onwards) will be a very sensitive time in the context of India’s relations with China. Participation by senior leaders or government functionaries, either from the central government or state governments, is not desirable, and should be discouraged.”
    Sinha, in turn, issued strict instructions to central and state governments to steer clear of CTA functions.
    Sacrificial lamb
    “It’s as clear as daylight that India wants to appease and please China”, a top diplomatic source told Al Arabiya. “And the Dalai Lama is the sacrificial lamb at the altar of Indian interests. Modi won’t have to pay a price domestically for dumping the Dalai Lama.”
    The diplomat, who declined to be named, said that “India’s climb-down is spurred by hard realities like China’s GDP which is nearly five times that of India; China’s defence spending which is three times larger than India’s, not to speak of the $52 billion trade deficit which underline China’s huge military and economic edge over India.”
The abrupt and complete reversal after the bluster and muscle-flexing in 2017, especially during the Doklam stand-off, has angered many in India.
    Sushant Singh, one of India’s top defense analysts, tweeted: “The story is not what India does to Dalai Lama. It is how India is unable to deal with China effectively. As we know, China never withdrew fully from Doklam and we have had to accept the new status quo. We have been made to believe that India is standing up to China and not going to “appease” it. This is a clear departure from what people have been told so far, especially after Doklam ‘disengagement’. This is what happens when we adopt an ostrich-like attitude towards China …then lie & obfuscate to our citizens.”
    Chickening out?
    Another observer, Anuradha Dighe, wrote: “Modiji first chickened out of Dokalam unconditionally and without a signed treaty & lost Bhutan’s trust. Now afraid of interacting with Tibetans in his own country India. Next Modi will give Arunachal Pradesh to China in fear.”
    Sources told Al Arabiya that New Delhi – which has traditionally used the Dalai Lama as a bargaining chip with China – decided to pacify Beijing by dumping the Tibetan spiritual leader to ensure that Modi gets a good reception in Qingdao during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in June.
    But low-key, warm up celebrations in Dharamsala last week had an unexpected representative from India: George Baker. The nominated BJP MP from West Bengal defied the government’s directive and spent three days in Dharamsala with his Tibetan hosts.
    The former actor told Al Arabiya: “As a lawmaker, I can travel to any part of India. Moreover, Tibetans are victims of Chinese oppression and as a rabidly anti-Chinese Indian, it’s my national duty to join Tibetan celebrations.”
    Last Update: Wednesday, 21 March 2018 KSA 15:00 – GMT 12:00

    Is India abruptly dumping Dalai Lama

  5. India has switched its policy on Tibet in order to align itself with China and gain economic benefits. With high unemployment rate and serious poverty issues in the countryside resulted in the Kisan Long March, as well as the uncertainties of the General Elections coming up in 2019, Modi’s government need to prioritise the interest of 1.3 billion people over 95,000 Tibetan refugees.

    As the largest recipient of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) under the “Belt & Road” initiative, India needs to maintain good relations with China, especially after the Doklam tension. The reality is the fact that India cannot afford to go to war with China as its army is not as well equipped and the cost of war would be astronomical. So India is now opting a conciliatory as opposed to a hardline approach in order to keep China at bay, and for PM Modi to possibly have a higher chance to succeed in the coming election.

    Modi and Xi are expected to meet this year on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit to be held in June this year at the Chinese city of Qingdao, and Modi’s congratulatory note to Xi for getting re-elected as the President on Chinese social media platform Weibo is a confirmation that further development of Sino-Indian bilateral relations is definitely under way.

    Tibet and India’s China Policy
    Is India sacrificing Tibet to improve a frosty relationship with China?
    By K.S. Venkatachalam
    March 20, 2018
    China’s foreign policy with India has oscillated between a ballistic approach and studied indifference. India’s approach, meanwhile, has recently flipped from a hardline to a conciliatory approach, confusing observers.
    At the heart of India-China tensions is the dispute over territory in the Aksai Chin area, and Tawang in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as a part of southern Tibet. Both countries have so far held 20 rounds of talks to settle the disputes, but, unfortunately, an acceptable solution has eluded them. To the credit of both sides, they have not allowed the situation to go out of control.
    However, the situation took a turn for the worse after the Doklam standoff in summer 2017. In spite of a propaganda blitzkrieg and other intimidating tactics adopted by China, India stood its ground. Although India is not a party to the Doklam dispute — that dispute is between China and the tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan — China’s forcible occupation of the area may threaten India’s security. Doklam is critical, as it would allow the Chinese troops to enter India through the Siliguri Corridor or “chicken’s neck” that links the northeastern states to the rest of India. China’s decision to enter Doklam was interpreted as a premeditated move to alter the status quo that had prevailed for decades.
    China was surprised by India’s tough posture. Eventually, after tense negotiations, both sides withdrew from the sensitive area, thus diffusing what could have led to an ugly conflict.
    India realizes that any war with China would not be in its interests, as the Chinese military is far stronger. On the other hand, China also recognizes that a conflict with India would adversely affect its humongous investment made in India’s neighborhood and that the best way forward would be to maintain peace along the border.
    Apart from the border disputes, another major irritant for China has been over the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, who in 1959 (along with tens of thousands of his disciples) was granted refuge in India, where he enjoys a special status. China considers Dalai Lama a dangerous separatist, who even today has great influence over Tibetans. It must be mentioned that Dalai Lama gave up his support for Tibetan independence in 1974, and only wants China to stop repression against the community.
    China did not take kindly to the Dalai Lama’s visit to the disputed area of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh last year. The Chinese termed his visit, particularly to Tawang, a “provocation” by India. India responded that “The government has clearly stated on several occasions that HHDL [His Holiness the Dalai Lama] is a revered religious leader, who is deeply respected as such by the Indian people. No additional color should be ascribed to his religious and spiritual activities and visits to various states of India.”
    Since then, however, tensions have cooled. There have been several recent developments that were viewed with interest in India. China recently did not oppose the move of the United States to put Pakistan on the “grey list’” of the Financial Action Task Force for funding terror groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba. China’s decision, especially when it has invested billions of dollars in Pakistan under its Belt and Road Initiative, came as a welcome surprise.
    Then, in a significant departure from its stated position on the Dalai Lama, New Delhi refused permission to the Central Tibetan Administration to hold the interfaith prayer and “Thank you India” functions in Delhi, which were scheduled to be held on March 31 and April 1. India’s foreign secretary, in a note to the cabinet secretary, advised the senior leaders and government functionaries not to participate in the events organized by Tibetan organizations as such a step would further deteriorate India’s relations with China.
    The note comes as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit China in June to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. Modi is expected to hold talks with the Chinese president on the sidelines of the summit. India does not want any incident that could derail the talks. According to China watchers, this prompted the cancellation of Tibetan events in Delhi.
    India’s decision has sent confusing signals to the Tibetans, as they have always looked upon India to support their cause. Many experts interpret India’s stand as weakness in light of the growing military power of China. According to defense experts, China is continuing to build up its military strength at Doklam and that India is unable to prevent the Chinese from building roads in the sensitive region. It is therefore important that the Indian prime minister takes up the issue with President Xi Jinping and impress on him that if China forcibly builds road in Doklam, it could have serious ramification on India-China relations. To achieve that goal, foreign policy experts worry that Modi may sacrifice the cause of Tibet at the altar of better relations with China.
    The ability of India and China to be global powers hinges on forming close economic ties and continuing efforts to engage with one another. This is sine qua non for ushering in peace and stability in the region. It is hoped that the Chinese government will take note of the significant shift in India’s policy on the Dalai Lama, and make every effort to improve bilateral ties. China’s positive response could persuade India to join the multibillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative. This will go a long way in strengthening relations, especially at a time when both the countries are embarking on their journey to become global powers.
    K.S. Venkatachalam is an independent columnist and political commentator.


  6. Looks like India is taking serious measures to ensure that the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in Dharamsala does not engage in any political activity perceived to be against Beijing.

    An event to mark 60 years of the Dalai Lama’s stay in India, originally planned in Delhi, was moved back to Dharamsala in order not to create issues for India as Sino-Indian ties are very tense at the moment. As a result, organisers were forced to hold the programme in the temple complex where the Dalai Lama and his followers have been living for decades.

    Many are speculating whether these cancellations and the new Indian government policy are permanent or just temporary. Looking at the series of engagements lined up between Delhi and Beijing, such as the upcoming visits to China by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, India is determine to mind Sino-Indian relations post-Doklam, which means the Tibetans should get ready for more bad news in the coming months.

    Dalai Lama event: Not Delhi or Dharamsala stadium, but temple zone
    By Rakesh Mohan Chaturvedi, ET Bureau | Updated: Mar 16, 2018, 08.59 AM IST
    NEW DELHI: Tibetans in exile have moved the venue of an event to mark 60 years of Dalai Lama’s stay in India from the cricket stadium in Dharamsala to a temple complex in the region.
    The event was to be held in New Delhi initially but was shifted to Dharamsala shortly after a government note asked senior leaders and officials to refrain from attending it.
    The Tibetan government in exile had approached the administration for permission to use the cricket stadium but the organise the celebrations there.
    Government insiders denied any pressure was exerted on the organisers to give up the request for the Dharamsala stadium. “We have very cordial and warm relations with the Dalai Lama and are willing to do whatever we can to help his followers,” an official said.
    Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale had sent out a note last month to Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, following which the latter issued a directive that it was not ‘desirable’ for senior leaders and government functionaries of the Centre or states to participate in programmes of the Tibetan government in exile. This was ostensibly done to avoid rubbing China the wrong way as Sino-Indian ties were delicately poised at the moment.
    China has described the Dalai Lama as a ‘dangerous separatist’.
    External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman are set to make separate visits to China next month.

    Dalai Lama Event Not Delhi or Dharamsala

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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