The Karmapa Issue

Monday, January 17, 2000

Press statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

India has all along maintained that Tibet is an integral part of the People's Republic of China. The Defence Minister, George Fernandes, whose views on Tibet have for long been contrary to the stated position of the Government of India is unnecessarily issuing statements giving his own interpretation of "Panchsheel" that are likely to create difficulties in India-China relations. After temporary setback in 1998, the government of India has reiterated its resolve to improve relations as reflected in Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh's visit to China during the Kargil conflict.

The improvement of good neighbourly relations between India and China has been the stated consensual position of India. This is in the mutual interests of the neighbouring Asian giants. The issue of `Karmapa' must not be allowed to be utilised to damage the process of improvement of relations with the People's Republic of China.