Bangalore: The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, accused China of “unimaginable and gross” human rights violations on the 49th anniversary of his escape after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in the Himalayan region.
“In Tibet, repression continues to increase with numerous unimaginable and gross violations of human rights, denial of religious freedom and politicization of religious issues,” the Dalai Lama told supporters in the Himalayan hill town of Dharamsala, where he heads a government in exile.
The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 to campaign for religious freedom and self-rule. Tibetans believe he is the reincarnation of Avalokitsevara, the Buddha of Compassion.
China’s policy of “population transfer” has reduced native Tibetans to an “insignificant minority” in their own country and the language, customs and traditions of Tibet are gradually fading away, the Dalai Lama said, according to an emailed copy of his speech. Tibetans are being assimilated into the larger Chinese population, he said. “These are major obstacles the Chinese government deliberately puts in the way of its policy of unifying nationalities which discriminate between the Tibetan and Chinese people,” he said. “I urge the Chinese government to bring an immediate halt to such policies.”
The Dalai Lama, 72, was recognized at the age of two after identifying a rosary and other articles belonging to his predecessor, according to the official website of Tibet’s government-in-exile. China appointed Tibet’s second highest religious leader, the Panchen Lama, in 1995 over the objections of the Dalai Lama. Tibet’s government-in-exile said the real Panchen Lama was imprisoned the same year by China at the age of six.
A “comprehensive approach” must be adopted to resolve the Tibetan problem to benefit all the parties rather than one, the Dalai Lama said.
Tibetan envoys have held talks with Chinese officials six times since 2002 on the fundamental issue of autonomy and “there has been no concrete result at all,” he said.
The Olympic Games upholds freedom of speech, expression, equality and friendship, the Dalai Lama said. “Besides sending athletes (for the Beijing Olympics), the international community should remind the Chinese government on these issues,” he said.
In Nepal, Tibetan activists clashed with police when they tried to march to the Chinese embassy, AFP said, citing a reporter in the capital, Kathmandu. At least two police officers and three protesters were injured, AFP said.