Dalai Lama says he may live out his years in India


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Taipei : After living in exile for nearly half a century, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said he may have to live out his remaining years in India, a Taiwan magazine said Saturday.

In an interview with the Business Weekly magazine, the Dalai Lama mentioned for the first time that he may not see his homeland again and may die in exile, in India.

The interview, conducted in Dharamsala, north India, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, focused on business management, competition and the secret for happiness.

Toward the end of the interview, the Taiwan reporters asked the Dalai Lama that since his biggest wish is to go home, if this wish cannot be fulfilled in his lifetime, how would he feel?

The Dalai Lama answered the questions by explaining his three missions.

He said that in recent years, he has been pursuing three missions. The first is to upgrade the value of humanity – to tell the world that everyone is entitled to seeking happiness regardless of nationality, race and religion.

His second mission is to promote inter-faith harmony, to make different religions respect one other.

His third mission is the issue of Tibet.

"Six years ago, we formed our democratically-elected government so I am now semi-retired. When the time comes, I will be entirely retired," the Business Weekly quoted him as saying.

"I am 72 years old. Even if I have to remain in India, in the coming years I will be entirely retired. If I cannot accomplish my third mission, I can still live for many years. Then, if I cannot return to Tibet, I will happily live in India," he said.

This is the first time the Dalai Lama has noted that he may not return home in his lifetime and may have to die in exile. In the past, he has been campaigning for Tibet's freedom and autonomy as well as his right to return home – to visit or to live out his twilight years as a monk.

But China has rejected his request to go home, fearing he might stir up trouble if not splitting Tibet from China. To the deeply religious Tibetans, the Dalai Lama is a Living Buddha, just like God to Christians or Allah to Muslims.

Some Chinese scholars have said that China is waiting for th e Dalai Lama to die, so that Beijing can name someone of its own choice as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and rule Tibet on Beijing's behalf.

When the 10th Panchen Lama, the second-highest leader after the Dalai Lama in the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, died in 1989, the Dalai Lama named a six-year-old boy in Tibet – Gedun Chocky Nyima – as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama.

But China put Nyima and his family under house arrest, and announced its own finding of the 11th Panchen Lama. Nyima has not been seen again.

The move has a devastating impact on the Tibetan government-in-exile because the Panchen Lama is partially responsible for finding the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and vice versa.