Tibet leader backs India's bid for security council seat - The Times of India Gaurav Das,TNN | Feb 6, 2014, 05.54 AM IST GUWAHATI: India's bid to be a permanent member of the UN security council received approbation from yet another source, with Lobsang Sangay, the Sikyong or political leader of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile, stating on Wednesday that the country's democratic system and its uniquely diverse demography make it deserving of a permanent place on the prestigious panel. The leader also sought a greater role for India in the Tibetan cause. Sangay, in the city to attend the closing ceremony of the Festival of Tibet, said Tibet deserved greater autonomy within China to counter Chinese suppression and to preserve its rich cultural legacy. "We want greater autonomy for Tibet within China. Our primary concern is the continuous suppression of Tibetan people in their homeland. China has veto power in the Security Council and India deserves to be a member. India and Tibet share a common geopolitical and environmental bond, as well as Ahimsa philosophy. We expect India to do more for the Tibetan cause. We are guests here and we are satisfied what the Indian people and its government have given us," said Sangay. Sangay said the ethos of Mao and Marx has been replaced by that of Adam Smith in a China undergoing transition. He stated that despite suppression of Uighur people in Mongolia and China's Xinjiang province, close to 100,000 Chinese Buddhists came to see the Dalai Lama and that China had the largest Buddhist population in the world. "In Tibet's Diru region, many people refused to hoist the Chinese flag. The presence of so many armed men there is inexplicable as Tibetan people have not displayed violence towards Chinese troops or property. We want Tibetan culture to be alive instead of being a staple for museums," said Sangay. The Harvard-educated leader emphasized the strategic importance of the northeast as well. "His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, expressed happiness with Assam's progress despite increasing air pollution being a source of concern. It was great to retrace the path of His Holiness as he made his way to India from Tibet many years ago," said Sangay. There are 94,203 Tibetans in India and the Tibetan parliament-in-exile has 44 members. The Sikyong is elected directly by the exile population for a term of 5 years.