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Tibetan communist leader flays Dalai Lama

Tibet's Communist Party chief has accused Dalai Lama of being a "double dealer", engaged in separatist activities.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2006 18:34 IST

Tibet's Communist Party chief has accused the Dalai Lama of being a "double dealer", who is engaged in separatist activities in collusion with anti-China forces, making him an 'unworthy' religious leader for devout Tibetans.

"The Dalai Lama used to be an acknowledged religious leader, which is an undoubted fact, but what he has done makes him unworthy of the title," Secretary of Tibet's Communist Party, Zhang Qingli said in an interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel.

The Dalai Lama staged a failed armed rebellion against China in the late 1950's and stirred social unrest in Lhasa in the late 1980's, Zhang was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

By the end of the first half of this year he had paid 312 'official visits' to other countries, averaging six visits a year, while last year he made 12 overseas journeys, he said, indicating that Beijing is keeping a tab on the India-based Buddhist spiritual leader's activities.

"The goal of his 'official visits' are to ally himself with 'anti-China' forces and publicise his separatist beliefs, which deviate from the practice of religion," Zhang said, harshly criticising the top Tibetan monk who is on exile in India since 1959.

Earlier, the chairman of the Tibetan government Champa Phuntsok described Dalai Lama as "a politician in Buddhist robes and Italian shoes", quoting media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

"I still can't figure out how he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize," said Zhang, "What peace has he brought to the world?" The Dalai Lama was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

The party chief also labelled the Dalai Lama as a double dealer, saying his so-called 'middle way' was in fact a thinly disguised independence.

In Dalai Lama's 'middle way', he seeks a 'greater Tibet' which would enjoy more autonomy than Hong Kong and Macao, said Zhang.

China has already rejected Dalai Lama's bid for a 'Greater Tibet' including the Tibetan-inhabited areas in Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces.

So soon as Dalai Lama abandons his separatist ideas, door to talks will open, Zhang said.

Direct talks between Dalai Lama and Beijing to resolve the vexed Tibet issue were abruptly cut off in 1993 and were renewed only in 2002. Since then, five rounds of talks have been held, but little progress has been achieved.

China has repeatedly stated that the condition for holding talks with the Dalai Lama is that he should genuinely renounce the stand of Tibetan independence, stop separatist activities, openly declare and acknowledge that Tibet is an inseparable part of China, that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China and that the People's Republic of China (PRC) government is the sole legal government representing whole of China.

First Published: Aug 09, 2006 18:31 IST