Amidst warning by China, Tibetans to cast vote in January 3 elections
New Delhi, Jan 01: India will allow the Tibetan refugees to cast votes to elect the new political leader of the exiled community. This move comes in the wake of China warning the Indian media against playing the Tibet Card.
Thousands of Tibetans living in exile in India (TGiE), the United States, Europe and other countries will cast their votes on Sunday and on April 11 and this would send out a strong message to China.
Seven candidates who are keen to take over as the next Sikyong or President of the Tibetan Government in Exile based in India concluded a hectic round of campaigning on Thursday. The two candidates who will secure a maximum number of votes in the primary election will contest the final polling on April 11. The winner of the April 11 poll will take over as the political leader fo the exiled Tibetans for a period of 5 years.
The polling for the primary and final elections to the 17th Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE) will also take place simultaneously with that to elect the next president.
These elections are significant and they come in the wake of an endorsement by the United States.
US President Donald Trump had signed into law a bill that reaffirms the right of Tibetans to choose a successor to the Dalai Lama and calls for establishing an American consulate in Tibet, prompting China to warn that the act will seriously disrupt and hurt bilateral relations.
The Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020 modifies and re-authorises various programmes and provisions related to Tibet.
Trump signed the act last week as part of the massive $2.3 trillion package for the year-end bill to provide long-delayed coronavirus relief and fund the federal government.
China on Wednesday had warned the Indian media from playing the Tibet card, while terming it as an internal affair.
The Chinese Embassy here in a statement said that it is in the fundamental interests of China and India, as two neighbouring countries and emerging economies to enhance political mutual trust, properly manage differences and strive to return China-India relations to the track of healthy and stable development.
"We hope some Indian media take an objective and fair stance on issues concerning China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, grasp the highly sensitive nature of Xizang (Tibet) -related issues, look at Xizang's economic and social progress objectively, do more to help China-India bilateral ties move forward instead of advocating playing Tibet card to meddle in China's internal affairs," the spokesperson of the embassy said in the statement.
The embassy. also said the US Act interferes in China's internal affairs and violates the fundamental principles of international laws and basic norms governing international ties. China firmly opposes any country, organisation or individual supporting the anti-China separatist activities of the Tibetan independence forces in any form and under any pretext.