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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 6, 2007
Tibetan PM urges his people to cool tensions with host Indians.
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Tibetan PM urges his people to cool tensions with host Indians.

Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche has urged his people to maintain calm in the face of recent tensions with the Hindu community in McLeodganj, the headquarters of the exiled government.

McLeodganj (Himachal Pradesh), May 6 : Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche has urged his people to maintain calm in the face of recent tensions with the Hindu community in McLeodganj, the headquarters of the exiled government.

Tension has prevailed in the town and surrounding areas following clashes on May 2 after some minor scuffle between locals and Tibetan youths.

Shops have been closed and streets have remained deserted ever since.

On Saturday, Rinpoche summoned Tibetans and invited Indians in the region to the exiled government's headquarters in McLeodganj and warned them against what he called Chinese efforts to derail the Tibetan movement for autonomy.

"I came personally to talk to them and I took a lot of time to explain what is the design, ulterior designs of the PRC (People's Republic Of China)... to derail the Tibetan movement and Tibetan society, and for that we must take precaution," he told reporters after his address.

Tibetan artefact shops in the region are major tourist attraction, and their closure, has had a visible adverse effect on the tourism- based economy.

Rinpoche appealed to both Tibetans and Indians to maintain harmony.

"Even in a family there are usually disagreements or arguments. It does not mean that there should be a group-up... and make it more tense. So, I explained very detailed to my people just to put an end to the tension and I hope there will be normalcy now onwards," he said.

Rinpoche did not mince words while criticizing the media coverage of the clashes and the aftermath.

"It is unfortunate that most of the electronic media, they carry baseless news, untruthful news and very provocative news.

This is not good. We can only condemn them, but we cannot do... These days the media is very powerful. They say we head the freedom of conscience and freedom of speech. So, it is up to the media themselves to keep self- discipline," he said.

Tibetan spiritual leader, The Dalai Lama, has set up his seat of power in Mcleodganj, about 10 kilometres above Dharamsala after he fled to India following a failed coup against Chinese occupation in Tibet in 1959.

Now 71, the winner of the Nobel Peace prize in 1989 for his peaceful campaign against Chinese rule; has renounced the goal of independence and says he only wants more autonomy for Tibet.

Many Tibetans in India are well educated. Disillusioned by the lack of progress with the Dalai Lama's "middle way", they have launched a campaign for special autonomy for Tibet, but as a part of China.

ANI

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