China thanks India, but reminds it of Tibet pledge

March 25th, 2009 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) Worried that Tibetans may hold violent protests to observe the 50th year of the Dalai Lama’s exile, China Wednesday thanked India for providing security to their missions but reminded New Delhi of its pledge not to allow Tibetans to indulge in political activities.
“Tibetans in India have not stopped protests and candle-light demonstrations. The Dalai Lama and his followers have staged many protests in different parts of India, including Delhi, specially since the Tibetan New Year Feb 5,” China’s Ambassador to India Zhang Yan told reporters.

“The scale is, however, much smaller than we expected. This year they have failed to reach the embassy and stage protests,” the envoy said.

He said Tibetans were planning to stage violent activities in India, including an attack on the Chinese embassy.

“We are prepared for it, with the help and assistance of the Indian government and law enforcement agencies,” he said.

“The Indian government is committed to not allowing the Dalai Lama and his followers to undertake any political activities against China. We expect the Indian government to fulfil its commitment,” the envoy underlined.

“We are satisfied at the support we have received from the Indian government,” he said when asked whether India had shown enough sensitivity over the Tibetan issue.

He also lauded India for taking “decisive measures” to ensure the safety of the Indian leg of the Chinese Olympic torch procession in New Delhi last year.

“It was appreciated not only by the Chinese government but people all over the world. It showed to the world India is capable of handling the security situation,” he said. “It was a warming up for the security drill for the Commonwealth Games India will host next year,” he said.

Around 100,000 Tibetan exiles live in India. India granted refuge to the Dalai Lama after China brutally cracked down on the Tibetan uprising in 1959.

Tibetan exiles are planning to hold a five-day ‘thank you’ India festival starting Thursday for generosity and hospitality extended to Tibetan refugees and Dalai Lama during the last 50 years of their stay here. The festival will be inaugurated by Tibetan government-in-exile’s Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche. The Dalai Lama is expected to attend the closing day of the festival March 31.

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