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'China could have killed Dalai Lama if it wanted'

world Updated: May 15, 2012 01:54 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

China could have eliminated Tibet’s spiritual leader Dalai Lama,76, a long time ago if it so wanted, the state media said on Monday reacting to his claims that bogus women devotees were being trained by China to poison him.

The Dalai Lama had told the UK’s Sunday Telegraph that China-trained women assassins were ready to poison him on the pretext of meeting him and seeking his blessings. He didn’t attribute the claims to any specific source.

The Chinese government’s views, if less strident than the media, also dismissed the claims as groundless. The Chinese foreign ministry said the sensational allegations were being levelled at China to attract publicity. Spokesperson Hong Lei said the Dharamshala-based Dalai Lama spread false information to deceive the public.

“The Dalai always wears religious clothes while carrying out anti-China separatist activities in the global community, spreading false information and deceiving the public,” Hong told a press briefing.

But Global Times, stated-owned newspaper, slammed the Tibetan spiritual leader saying that either he had lost his mind in old age or was playing an “insidious” or dangerous trick.

“Let’s put it simply: If the central government wanted to “eliminate” the Dalai Lama, why has it waited for such a long time? Isn't it foolish to take action against Dalai at such an old age,” the Global Times asked.

It said the claim had no credibility. “The claim by the Dalai Lama have no credibility, not only because there is no benefit for Chinese agents to poison him, but also because of the fact that since the establishment of the PRC, China has never assassinated its political opponents in exile. China won’t change its practice and principles for the Dalai,” the editorial said.

China has routinely accused the Dalai Lama of fomenting separatism in ethnic Tibetan dominated regions of China.