Presence of Tibetan PM-in-exile at Modi’s swearing- in invites protest from Chinese Foreign Minister

New Delhi : The Government has run into a major diplomatic embarrassment over Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile Sikyong Lobsang Sangay attending the swearing-in of the Narendra Modi government at Rashtrapati Bhawan on May 26 as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi rushed here to protest, after sending a formal demarche.

Taking the Tibetan leader to the ceremony is suspected to be a handiwork of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) that is not happy with Modi’’s legacy of extreme cordiality with Beijing as just one move has created an air of distrust as China just cannot tolerate India entertaining the Tibetan leaders like this. A media report says the government realised his presence only when he slipped in for the group photo of the SAARC leaders with the President and Modi. Since he was last in the line, his picture was cropped out from the official group photo that was officially released.  The news, however, leaked out on the website of the “Central Tibetan Administration,” the self-styled government-in-exile, with the group photo, stating that “this is the first time that political leaders of Central Tibetan Administration made their presence along with other dignitaries in the swearing-in ceremony of the Prime Minister of India.”

 It added that the “honourable Sikyong was accompanied by Ms Dolma Gyari, the honourable Kalon for the department of home (the self-styled home minister of the government-in-exile).  China has a reason to protest since the government-in-exile is a political outfit that violates the terms of Dalai Lama’’s refuge and that there is nothing spiritual about Sangay and his colleagues.  The group photo tantamounts to a deliberate provocation to China because Beijing can interpret it as the new government raising the status of the Tibetan government-in-exile to the status of a State. So far India said Tibet is part of China. In a detailed analysis of the development, a media report says the security at the Rashtrapti Bhawan is so tight that the dissident Tibetan leaders can not be there by an accident, particularly when there was the highest security and almost entire Special Protection Group (SPG) was on the guard.

It said the Tibetan leaders managed to get in with passes given to the BJP for its guests.

It points out that the government-in-exile deleted the group photo from its website after the Chinese noted it an lodged protest to India, replacing it with a photo showing Sangay sitting with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav at the swearing-in ceremony.

In a separate meeting with J P Nadda, general secretary of the BJP, he…assured all support and cooperation to the Tibetan people in exile in India.”

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