Gen. Naravane supports the Tibetan independence movement and calls China’s claim to Tibet a “incorrect, bid to rewrite history.”

On Wednesday, former Army commander General Manoj Mukund Naravane (retd) emphasized Tibet’s fight for independence from China by saying that Tibetans everywhere have a right to visit the homeland of their ancestors and learn about Tibetan culture firsthand.

He was addressing the crowd at the India International Centre (IIC) in Delhi at the 6th International Rangzen (Independence) Conference. Geshe Lharampa Bawa Lobsang Pende, a member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, and Umit Hamit, a prominent Uyghur freedom fighter, were among those there.

General Naravane claims that 1,40,000 Tibetans live in exile, with a majority (1,000,000) residing in India. “This is an extraordinary pool of dormant power that needs to be tapped into,” he stated.

As he continued, he said, “It is indeed a historical fact that Tibet has been and is, the rightful neighbor of India and that the common border was open and peaceful, allowing not only free movement of trade and people, but also the flow of the finest thoughts of human civilisation.”

A former Army commander has said that India’s ambiguous posture toward the Chinese occupation of Tibet is a direct outcome of the 1954 Panchsheel Agreement, a pact based on five principles of cohabitation between India and China. The Tibetan identity and culture have been drastically altered as a result of China’s decades-long occupation of Tibet and related administrative reforms.

General Naravane continued by saying that China’s recent white paper is “incorrect and an attempt to rewrite history” since it asserts that Tibet has been a part of China from antiquity (7th century AD and later).

Vertical integration and horizontal stretch are the two strategies he proposed for furthering the Tibetan cause. He elaborated on the’vertical integration’ strategy, saying it would include bringing these challenges to the attention of the international community via channels such as the United Nations and the participation of influential individuals and institutions.

According to him, keeping the movement’s momentum going requires bringing people together all across the globe. To keep the Rangzen movement alive and effective, “this strategy should focus on creating a collective voice across borders.”

He repeatedly criticized China during the presentation, drawing parallels between the Chinese and Indian approaches. However, he warned that China’s increased might is not without its risks. When it comes to leadership, China uses force and fear, whereas India relies on collaboration and trust.

In addition, he said, Tibet, Taiwan, Xinjiang, and even Mongolia have all been targets of Chinese irredentism. China uses selective historical reference, cartographic manipulation, and lawfare by exploiting its cyber and information domain capabilities, all of which fall inside the “Grey Zone” and should be taken into account.

By Staff Writer

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