S.V. Krishna Chaitanya, Asian Age: While people from the north-east are fleeing the state in panic, worried about their safety in the aftermath of the Assam riots and the related violence in Mumbai and elsewhere, Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay on Friday described India as the land of ahimsa and said he believed the Indian government would ensure the safety of every citizen.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle over the phone from Dharamsala, the headquarters of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in Himachal Pradesh, he appealed to Tibetans and people from the north-east to ignore rumours of violence against their community.
“The reprehensible acts of a few anti-social elements aimed at disturbing peace and harmony in this peace loving nation should be defeated by staying united. Fleeing in panic is the not the answer,” he stressed.
Of the 90,000 Tibetans taking refuge in India, 30,000 live in different settlements in Karnataka. The Bylakuppe settlement in Kodagu district alone is home to over 20,000 Tibetans.
Most are feeling particularly vulnerable since a Tibetan student, Tenzin Dhargiyial, was attacked a few days ago and the CTA in Dharamsala has been flooded with calls from alarmed people.
The CTA has responded by staying in constant touch with the state government and local settlement officers to restore confidence.
“Directives have been issued to the respective settlement officers to calm the people and prevent an exodus. Tibetans are safe and can go about their normal lives in their settlements. There is no need to flee.
“A Tibetan administrator will arrive in Karnataka shortly to review the safety measures,” Mr Sangay said reassuringly, blaming a misleading photograph circulated on social networking sites, especially those based in Pakistan, falsely linking Tibetan monks to the recent violence in Myanmar involving Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, for much of the current unrest.