Tibetans-in-exile at Leh react strongly to Chinese incursion

      Members of the exiled Tibetan community at Leh reacted strongly to the recent Chinese trespass into India's border areas in Ladakh region. Such concern was expressed by functionaries of Tibetan fora based at Leh on Monday. Warning India of Chinese designs, Kunzang Dechen, President of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Leh, termed China as the biggest threat to India. "China these days is a great threat to India. I have seen through channels...that the Chinese are entering to the border but when Tibet is an independent nation, when Tibet is in between them, China has nothing to bother even. From Indian point of view, this must be settled through Tibet and not through China," Deche added. Sonam Gyatso, President of Tibetan Market Welfare Association, Leh, said that if the recent developments in Ladakh are ignored by the government of India, then Ladakh would also meet the same fate as Tibet. "The one and half kilometres incursion by the Chinese troops in Ladakh.... written at the border area in Chinese 'Republic of China', all these will have a bad impact on Ladakh. In Pangong Lake, first they said 45 kilometres is under China and 45 kilometres is under India, which they (Chinese) have extended to 50 kilometres and if Ladakhi government and the authorities ignore this issue then whatever happened in Tibet, the same would happen in Ladakh also since Ladakh is a very isolated region," Gyatso added. Officials sources have said that Chinese troops entered nearly 1.5 kilometres into the Indian territory near Mount Gya, which is recognised as the international border by India and China, and painted the word 'China' in Cantonese on the boulders and rocks there with red spray paint. The incursions were reported from the area generally referred in the Chumar sector in east of Leh. The 22,420 ft Mount Gya, also known as "fair princess of snow" by the Army is located at the tri-junction of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, and Tibet. Its boundary was marked during the British era and is regarded as International border by the two countries. The border patrol discovered the red paint markings on various rocks and boulders along the Zulung La (pass) on July 31 and the Chinese had entered into the area and written "China" all over the place, the sources said. Indian soldiers later erased the text, writing 'India' instead. This is not the first such reported intrusion. On June 21 Chinese helicopters had violated the Indian air space along the Line of Actual Control in Chumar region. The Chinese troops also reportedly dropped expired tinned food packets in the area.

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