The Dalai Lama said Tibetan Buddhism was deeply rooted in Tibetan culture and China could not "annihilate it easily by taking recourse to repressive measures."
Speaking at the conclusion of the 12th conference of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism (Nyimgma, Sakya, Kagyu, Gelug) and the Bon tradition on Saturday evening, he said: "In China alone the number of people claiming to be Buddhists has been recorded at at least 400 million and most of them appear to be Tibetan Buddhists."
The Nobel Peace Price laureate spoke about the Nalanda tradition of Buddhism that has been preserved in Tibet since its advent into Tibet from India. He also stressed upon ethics and the need for an analytical study of Buddhist texts to get to the "essence of Buddha's teachings".
"During the past 50 years, after the Tibetan people were driven into exile, a lot of change has taken place in the world since then. Buddhist texts should be rationally analysed to derive the real benefit from the Buddha's teachings," he added.
The three-day conference was attended by over 66 representatives from 58 monasteries and Buddhist institutes including those of the Jonang tradition. The Tibetan prime minister-in-exile ('Sikyong'), Lobsang Sangay, members of the 'Kashag' (cabinet) and speaker of the exiled parliament, Penpa Tsering, also attended the meet.
Conference condemns 'anti-Dalai Lama' cult
The conference's participants strongly condemned what they called the "false allegations" and the continued "hate campaign" conducted by the Dolgyal (Shugden) cult against the Dalai Lama. Describing the latter as a "global icon who has made an immense contribution to world peace and promotion of Tibetan Buddhism and culture", the conference appreciated him for his concern for the Tibetan people and Buddhists worldwide.