Not seeking independence but autonomy for Tibet: Dalai Lama
More Chinese are realising that he is not seeking independence and only wishing that China gives meaningful autonomy to Tibet and ensures preservation of Tibetan Buddhist culture,” the spiritual leader told reporters in Jammu.
Spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Thursday said more and more people in China are beginning to realise that he is not seeking “independence” but meaningful autonomy and preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist culture.
“Some Chinese hardliners consider me a separatist and a reactionary and always criticise me. But now, more Chinese are realising that the Dalai Lama is not seeking independence and only wishing China (to give) meaningful autonomy (to Tibet) and (ensure) preservation of Tibetan Buddhist culture,” he told reporters in Jammu.
The Tibetan spiritual leader is on a two-day official visit to the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. This is his first official tour outside his base in Himachal Pradesh’s Dharamshala since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. “I am leaving for Ladakh tomorrow (Friday) to take part in some programme,” he said.
When asked about China’s objection to his visit to Ladakh, the 87-year-old Dalai Lama said it was something usual. “The Chinese people are not objecting... more and more Chinese are showing interest in Tibetan Buddhism. Some of their scholars are realising that Tibetan Buddhism is very scientific. Things are changing,” he said.
Advocating resolution to all disputes through dialogue, the Dalai Lama asserted that all human beings are equal and they need to rise above the narrow-minded approach of “my nation, my ideology” which is the main trigger for fights among people.
“My main message to the people is that we all are brothers and sisters and there is no point in fighting... ‘My country, my religion’ is too narrow an ideology. Human beings should live together in total harmony,” said the Dalai Lama, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
During his Leh visit, the Dalai Lama is also expected to visit the famous Thiksey monastery.
The Tibetan leader’s trip is likely to irk China. Earlier this month, Beijing had criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for greeting the Dalai Lama on his 87th birthday, saying India should stop using Tibet-related issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs. The external affairs ministry had rejected China’s criticism and asserted that it is a consistent policy to treat the Dalai Lama as an honoured guest in India.
When asked about Chinese aggression in Ladakh, the Dalai Lama refused to comment and feigned ignorance.