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‘I have always supported the Olympics taking place in China’

‘I have always supported the Olympics taking place in China’
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First Published: Mon, Mar 24 2008. 12 27 AM IST
Updated: Mon, Mar 24 2008. 12 27 AM IST
New Delhi: The Dalai Lama says he is “heartbroken” at the “bad news” from Tibet over the last few days, but that in his daily meditation, he tries to offer “compassion and forgiveness” to allay the “anger, suspicion, fear and hatred” of the Chinese people.
In comments over the last two days to a select gathering assembled to hear the Tibetan religious leader in the Capital and organized by a not-for-profit organization funded by the Dalai Lama called the Foundation of Universal Responsibility, the Tibetan leader interspersed his religious teachings with comments on the current situation in Tibet.
The remarks by the Dalai Lama come on the heels of his Friday meeting with USspeaker Nancy Pelosi in Dharamsala on Friday, when she asked for an internationalinvestigation into the deaths and the Chinese brutalities in Tibet.
To waiting reporters outside the gathering, the Dalai Lama dismissed suggestions from Beijing that he wanted the Olympics to be called off. “I have always supported the Olympics taking place in China,” he said.
In Beijing, the government-run Tibet Daily accused the Dalai Lama of stirring up “trouble at a sensitive time and deliberately make it bigger and even cause bloodshed so as to damage the Beijing Olympics.” The newspaper called it a “life-and death struggle between ourselves and the enemy.”
In New Delhi where Tibetan activists tried to scale the walls of the Chinese embassycompound, the fine balance struck between New Delhi, the Dalai Lama and the Chinese appears to have been disturbed.
The incident was “deeply embarrassing” and a violation of the understanding between New Delhi and the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, said one government official who didn’t want to be identified.
Until this incident, Tibetan marchers had been allowed to proceed from Himachal Pradesh, where the Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered, to Punjab, without any of them being arrested.
Meanwhile, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman in Beijing told journalists that the Dalai Lama will not be meeting vice-president Hamid Ansari during his visit to New Delhi, citing the Indian government.
While there was no official word from the Indian ministry of external affairs, people familiar with the matter said a meeting between the Dalai Lama and the vice-president had never been scheduled. But some Indian government officials had discussed such a meeting between the two, suggesting to some analysts that New Delhi has had second thoughts.
At the religious gathering, the Dalai Lama said he had been spending many sleepless nights worrying over the situation in Tibet.
“There is much anxiety and discomfort,” he said, pointing out, however, that if he also developed anger and hatred against the Chinese, “it won’t help solve the problem, but only destroy my inner peace.”
That is why, he said, in his daily meditation he sought to offer “compassion and forgiveness” to the Chinese, especially since a number of Chinese people also did not agree with the state policy on Tibet.
Significantly, the Dalai Lama also seemed to be sending a message both to Beijing as well as the younger Tibetan community who disdained his non-violent approach and favoured a much more aggressive policy, when he pointed out that the the Tibetans did not have to have “total submission” to the Chinese.
“They create their own negative karma,” the Dalai Lama said, referring to the Chinese leadership. “They have to face their own consequences.”
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First Published: Mon, Mar 24 2008. 12 27 AM IST
More Topics: Tibet | China | The Dalai Lama | Protest | Violence |