In advice to China and India, Dalai Lama says both should live side-by-side
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has asked India and China to live side-by-side, underlining that both the countries were powerful and could not destroy the other. The rare comment by the supreme Tibetan spiritual leader came at a time the two countries are trying to resolve the two-month-long standoff along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh.
“Both [are] powerful nations yet neither one can destroy the other one, so you have to live side-by-side,” he reasoned in an interview on TIME100 Talks series.
The two countries, the world’s most populated nations with billion-plus people, appeared to have “some sense of competition in recent times”, the Dalai Lama said, tracing the historical links between the two countries when scholars from China would come to India to translate Buddhist scriptures and religious text. “Historically, China was a Buddhist country and India was the land of Buddha.”
The Dalai Lama relinquished his political and administrative powers over the Tibetan movement and its government-in-exile that runs from Dharamshala in 2011 and since then, mostly refrains from explicitly commenting on political matters. He did, however, when recently asked about the India, China stand-off, link wars to the feudal system when people - king, queen or even religious leaders - were more concerned with their own power.
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But younger leaders and activists of the Tibetn movement - the Dalai Lama turned 85 earlier this week - have been outspoken in their criticism of China.
Over the last month or so, there have been protests in Dharamshala’s McLeodganj - also known as Little Lhasa because it is home to thousands of Tibetan refugees, - and elsewhere against China. Tibetan leaders have since then nudged India to take a harder stance over Tibet that had been a natural buffer between India and China till Beijing annexed it in 1949.