China on Tuesday fired a fresh salvo at the Dalai Lama, branding him an “actor and a liar”, after the India-based Tibetan spiritual leader claimed Chinese hardliners have “parts of their brain missing”.
The Dalai Lama’s statement was made during an interview with British comedian John Oliver in Dharamsala.
“We often say that the 14th Dalai Lama is a political exile who wears religious clothing to engage in anti-China separatist activities,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said. “Now it seems he is an actor, who is very good at performing, and very deceptively.”
Geng also said the Dalai Lama’s remarks “appear to be funny and humourous but they are all lies”.
China’s anger would have been further stoked by the spiritual leader saying, as he has said before, that he might be the last in line.
A Reuters report said that Tibetan Buddhism holds that the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death. “China says the tradition must continue and it’s officially atheist Communist leaders have the right to approve the Dalai Lama’s successor, as a legacy inherited from China’s emperors,” the report said.
Last year, China had reacted in anger when Dalai Lama met singer Lady Gaga.
“The purpose of his visits and activities in other countries is just to promote his proposal for Tibetan independence,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei had said, adding: “We hope that people from the international community can be fully aware of his true colours and nature.”
Last week, the foreign ministry warned India about the Dalai Lama’s planned visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as south Tibet. “China is strongly opposed to Dalai visiting disputed areas,” Geng had said, adding that the visit will cause “serious damage” to Sino-India ties and that Beijing was “gravely concerned”.
“The Dalai-clique has long been engaging in anti-China separatist activities and its record on the border question is not that good,” he said.
To China the Dalai Lama’s presence in what it calls a “disputed region” is linked to the festering boundary dispute with India.
“India is fully aware of the seriousness of Dalai issue and the sensitivity of China India border question,” Geng said.