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Dalai Lama concerned about Tibet situation

india Updated: Feb 15, 2010 11:42 IST
Gaurav Bisht

Ahead of his planned meeting with United States President Barack Obama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has expressed concern over the situation inside China-controlled Tibet calling it “critical”.

The Dalai Lama on Sunday addressed hundreds of Tibetan exiles who gathered at Tsuglagakhang -main Buddhist temple here to offer prayers to mark Losar - first day of Tibetan lunar calendar.

“Tibetans here (in-exile) enjoy freedom, where as the situation is otherwise for Tibetans inside Tibet,” said the Dalai Lama, asking the exiled Tibetan community not to lose hope. “Despite facing great problems in Tibet for many years, the Tibetan people living inside have shown indomitable courage and sincerity in standing up to the situation,” said the 75-year old spiritual leader, seeking high-level autonomy for Tibet.

The Dalai Lama asked the Tibetan community to restrict themselves from Losar festivities, which traditionally last for about two weeks. “Tibetans are marking the year as a year of remembrance of Tibetan people's suffering. Tibetans inside Tibet have wished not to celebrate Losar,” the Dalai Lama said. Dalai Lama did not make any mention about his scheduled visit to the US.

Earlier in the morning, the Dalai Lama presided over traditional prayer ceremony at the main Buddhist temple located outside his mansion in McLeodganj. Apart from hundreds of exiles, the ceremony was attended by Tibetan ministers, parliamentarians, staff members and monks and nuns from various monasteries.

In the afternoon, the Dalai Lama left New for Delhi, from where he would fly to Washington. Dalai Lama will meet Obama on February 18.