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'Tibet should not be a barrier in Sino-Indian relations'

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November 20, 2007 20:24 IST

The Tibet issue should not become a barrier in the bilateral relations between India and China, Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile Professor Samdhong Rinpoche said on Tuesday.

He also appealed to the Indian government to take up Tibet's cause with China in a cordial environment.

"We never want the Tibetan cause to be a barrier between India-China relations. However, India should establish such relations that it can openly talk over the Tibetan cause with China," Rinpoche said at a book release function in Delhi.

He also said India needs to do away with its "subservient" attitude towards China.

"A trustworthy friendship is established only between two equals, not if one of them is subservient. India must seek improvement of Sino-Indian relations, but on an equal footing," he said adding, "only then will India have the opportunities and modalities to speak for Tibet."

Rinpoche said despite the massive infrastructure development projects in the region, the living standard of Tibetans had not improved.

"Thousands of Tibetans are risking their lives and escaping to India for want of better employment, education and health facilities, services that are inadequate in Tibet," he said.

Alleging systematic drain of wealth from Tibet to the Chinese mainland, the leading scholar of Buddhism stressed, "Tibet has increasingly become a supplier of resources to the Chinese mainland without any adequate return."

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