Dalai Lama, Hu meet in India unlikely
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Dalai Lama, Hu meet in India unlikely

The Chinese president and Dalai Lama may not meet during former's India visit, reports Nilova R Chaudhury.

india Updated: Oct 08, 2006 23:59 IST
Nilova Roy Chaudhury
Nilova Roy Chaudhury

Given the Chinese government's attitude towards the Dalai Lama, it is unlikely there will be any meeting between him and Chinese President Hu Jintao when the latter visits India next month.

But the Tibetan spiritual leader's "struggle, to preserve a nation, a community and heritage" will continue.

"We can return with a certain degree of freedom, of autonomy" to Tibet, "whether the Dalai Lama remains or not," HH The Dalai Lama said on Sunday. He was speaking at the Foreign Correspondent's Club of South Asia.

"I don't think there will be any meeting," responding to a query about the chances of a meeting with President Hu. "It is up to Beijing and New Delhi to decide," he said.

But, he explained, in the five rounds of talks his representatives have held with Beijing since 2002, the Chinese government is now "clear that we are not seeking independence."

"If Tibet remains within the People's Republic (of China), we will have better development." "Our struggle," the 71-year-old monk said, "is for preservation of Buddha Dharma, our beautiful environment and heritage, and for human rights."

"My involvement in politics," he clarified, "is for the struggle to preserve a nation. We are trying to get meaningful autonomy within the Chinese system."

Beijing has always viewed the Dalai Lama with suspicion, despite his professed expression of wanting to remain as "one country, two systems."

"If he has no desire for independence, why does he head a government - in exile?" Chinese Ambassador Sun Yuxi has said.

Moving on to his other key "commitment," towards "religious harmony," the Indian government's "longest guest," ("occasionally unwanted, perhaps!") as he called himself, said India was "a model of religious tolerance for the whole world," where "democracy is very deeply rooted."

The clash of civilisations, the Dalai Lama said, was wrong. Because of some mischievous Muslims, to categorise all Muslims as militants is wrong."

"If past history is uncivilised, it is better to forget it," strongly advocating the practice of 'ahimsa' or non-violence to resolve internal conflicts, including those that give rise to terrorism.

Its "effects may be limited," he said, "but we should not lose hope."

First Published: Oct 08, 2006 22:59 IST