India must help free Tibet to save its Northeast: Sangay

Chi diverting Brahmaputra waters to its parched areas, says PM of Tibetan government-in-exile

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Nov 2: India should help Tibet to achieve independence to save the Northeast region and the river Brahmaputra, Prime Minister of the Government of Tibet in-exile Lobsang Sangay said at the fifth All India Tibet Support Groups Conference organized at the district library auditorium here.

Sangay said the water level of river Brahmaputra has gone down in the wake of construction of more than 22,000 dams on the Chinese part of the river.

This, he said, has also affected the fishery and agriculture sector of the Northeast.

“Chi has 25 per cent of world’s population but only 12 per cent of it gets pure water to drink. A population of around 400 million people faces water crisis everyday in Chi for which the Chinese government is trying to divert the waters of river Brahmaputra towards Chi by building the dams,” Sangay said. 

Most of the rivers in India – mainly Brahmaputra and Indus – as well as those of Chi and 19 other South East Asian countries are fed by the glaciers of Tibet, Sangay said, adding that if the environment of Tibet, which is also the Third Pole of the world, does not change, it will have a severe impact on the ecology.

“More than 40 per cent of water in river Indus comes from the glaciers of Tibet; the Mekong river gets 50 per cent of its water from Tibetan glaciers. Fifty per cent of glaciers have already disappeared in Tibet due to climate change and 83 per cent of glaciers have already melted. At this rate, by 2050, all glaciers there will melt, which will have a hazardous impact on the ecology of the South East Asian countries,” Sangay added.

Stating that an independent Tibet is vital for India’s security, Sangay showered praises on India for given Tibetans “space and time”.

“At the same time, we seek India’s support in achieving independence (Tibet’s). Our Tibetan temples propagate spiritual knowledge and brotherhood and not terrorism. Our struggle for freedom has been non-violent, an ideology we have borrowed from India. Our success will be India’s success and it will happen for sure,” Sangay said.

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