China today accused the Dalai Lama of tearing apart hundreds of families by orchestrating a campaign in Switzerland to adopt Tibetan orphans in the 1960s.
The condemnation came after a Swiss newspaper, 'Neue Zuercher Zeitung', published a series of stories in September, questioning a privately-run campaign masterminded by a Swiss entrepreneur and the Dalai Lama.
Out of the 200 children placed with Swiss families and the Pestalozzi children's village in Trogen, only 19 of them are true orphans. The other kids either had both father and mother or at least one of them, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the Swiss reports as saying.
"The stories in the Swiss media have highlighted how the Dalai Lama and his clique fabricated so-called orphans and sent them to Switzerland," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said here today. "The Dalai Lama manufactured the orphan incident out of his Tibetan independence initiative, which caused hundreds of families to be torn apart," Hua said.
The Dalai Lama allegedly planned the children to be turned into an elite group to run the Tibetan government-in-exile, the reports said.
"The Dalai Lama's deeds have trampled on the children's individual rights and publicly violated common ethics and morality. All humane, justice-loving people should condemn such acts," Hua said.
China accuses the 78-year-old Dalai Lama of trying to split the country by pursuing Tibetan independence, a charge denied by him.