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Dalai Lama sees China’s role in Tibet unrest

Dalai Lama sees China’s role in Tibet unrest
PTI
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First Published: Sat, Mar 29 2008. 08 45 PM IST
Updated: Sat, Mar 29 2008. 08 45 PM IST
New Delhi: As Beijing continues to batter him with charges of ”masterminding” the Lhasa unrest, the Dalai Lama on Saturday suggested that China itself could be behind the violence and expressed readiness to work with the Chinese authorities to restore peace in Tibet.
The Dalai Lama, who has been seeking dialogue to resolve Tibet issue, voiced frustration at lack of response from China and declared that the future of his ‘middle-path’ approach would depend on Beijing’s attitude in the next few weeks.
At a press conference, he sought the help of the international community to bring China to the dialogue table, saying the Tibetans had ”no power” to do so.
“Tibetans are non-violent people,” the spiritual leader maintained rubbishing allegations by China that he and his supporters were behind the recent violence in Tibet.
He suggested that China itself could be behind the violence as he said ”we have heard about a few hundred Chinese soldiers received monks’ dress.”
“They (soldiers) dressed like monks. So, for a lay person, they will look like monks. But the swords they had, were not Tibetan, they were Chinese swords,” he said, apparently responding to China’s campaign that monks had indulged in violence.
Maintaining that he has “no desire to seek Tibet’s separation” nor “any wish to drive a wedge between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples,” the Dalai Lama expressed willingness to work with the Chinese authorities to “bring about peace and stability in Tibet.”
The Dalai Lama, who earlier led an inter-faith prayer at Rajghat in the memory of those killed in Lhasa, said his primary concern was to ensure the survival of the Tibetan people’s distinctive culture, language and identity.
“My side is open for dialogue. We are waiting to hear from the Chinese side,” he said before heading back to Dharamshala, the seat of his ’government-in-exile’.
“We have no power to bring China to the dialogue table. We have only truth and sincerity. That is why we are appealing to the world community, please help,” the Tibetan leader said.
He said the attitude of the Chinese government over the next few weeks would be crucial to decide the future of his “middle-path” approach to resolve the Tibet issue.
Expressing his keenness to return to Tibet, the Dalai Lama said it would be of “no use” if he had to return without a “certain degree of freedom”.
He also sought to allay China’s concerns that Tibetans may cause trouble during the India-leg of the Olympic torch relay, saying he was in favour of Beijing hosting the mega sporting event.
The Dalai Lama said that Tibetans were neither anti-China nor seeking separation from the mailand. “We only want meaningful autonomy and not independence from China. Remaining with China is in our own larger interest,” he said.
He said the Tibetans only want full “guarantee and assurance” from the Chinese government that it would preserve their cultural heritage and provide them with complete religious freedom.
The Dalai Lama said Chinese demographic aggression is threatening Tibetan culture as a large number of non-Tibetans were settling in Tibetan region.
“Half-a-million Chinese people are already there and there are plans to settle over one million Chinese people after the Olympic Games,” he said.
He also warned that China faced instability in the future as there was a lot of resentment beneath the appearance of stability in the country.
“China looks stable, but underneath there is a lot of resentment,” the Dalai Lama said calling it a police state where there is a “rule of terror”.
He said besides spiritual advancement, Tibetans also need material development and urged Tibetans to opt for higher education, training and help in the progress of their motherland.
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First Published: Sat, Mar 29 2008. 08 45 PM IST