WikiLeaks cable reveals India's difficulty in juggling Beijing ties and support for Tibetans
A cable written by a US official and released by WikiLeaks yesterday said India struggled to balance not upsetting Beijing while keeping its commitment to Tibetans after the unrest there in 2008.
The cable - dated March 26, 10 days after rioting erupted in Lhasa - said India's commitment to support the Dalai Lama was under pressure because of the increasingly complex relationship with Beijing.
'However, the tacit agreement that Tibetans are welcomed in India as long as they don't cause problems is being challenged at a time when India's complex relationship with Beijing is churning with border issues, rivalry for regional influence, a growing economic interdependence, the nascent stages of joint military exercises, and numerous other priorities.'
It said Tibet had been a 'front-burner challenge' in New Delhi over how to handle the demonstrators arrested for protesting outside the Chinese embassy and at Dharamsala, where Tibet's 'government in exile' is based. While most of the demonstrators were released afterwards, India was careful to strike a delicate balance.
'The words 'tightrope' and 'balancing acts' are constantly repeated in Delhi regarding the Indian government's handling of Tibetan protests,' it said.
The Dalai Lama told Delhi he had sent a 'private communication' to President Hu Jintao and the Tibetan government-in-exile was awaiting a response.
It also quoted the Dalai Lama's special envoy, Lodi Gyaltsen, as saying the exiled government was satisfied with the Indian government's reaction and urged the US government to acknowledge the Indian stance instead of pressing it to be more forceful.