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Chinese leaders feel threatened by Tibetan Buddhism: Dalai Lama

By Jaideep Sarin, IANS,

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh) : Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama Sunday accused the Communist leaders in China of being afraid of Tibetan Buddhism and intimidating Tibetans trying to preserve their culture and identity.

The Dalai Lama, who generally avoids criticising top Chinese leaders despite being accused of being a ‘splittist’ by the Chinese, told a meeting of high lamas (monks) of all Tibetan sects at his Mcleodganj headquarters-in-exile that the Chinese leaders were “feeling threatened by Tibetan Buddhism”.

“The Chinese Communist leaders are feeling a threat from Tibetan Buddhism. If any Tibetan inside Tibet is emphatic about Tibetan language, culture and tradition and tries to preserve it, the Chinese feel threatened,” The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, said in Tibetan.

In recent years, people in several countries, including Hollywood celebrities, have embraced Tibetan Buddhism propagated by the Dalai Lama.

“The situation inside Tibet is very sad. Any such Tibetan trying to preserve the Tibetan identity is tortured and is denied all opportunities in jobs and other things. Whereas, those who toe the Chinese line are given everything,” he pointed out.

He added that there was a “deliberate, conscious subversion” of Tibetan culture inside Tibet by China.

There are over six million Tibetans living inside Tibet, a territory that China claims is part of it.

Nearly 140,000 Tibetans, over 100,000 of them in India, live in exile all over the world. The Dalai Lama and his exiled followers complete 50 years in exile in India this month.

The Dalai Lama told the high lamas that there was a lot of curiosity the world over and in the media about what will happen inside Tibet this year given the violent uprising by Tibetans against China March last year.

“It is more than 50 years of our becoming refugees. But one good thing that has happened in our present situation is that we have got united. We have got closer in these circumstances. This unity is very important. We should not come to a point where nothing is left with us,” he said.

He said that the meeting of the high lamas had been convened here to achieve greater harmony among all Tibetan sects.

The Tibetan spiritual guru, who earlier Sunday led hundreds of religious and political leaders, monks and other Tibetans in prayers for Tibetans killed in the struggle in the last 50 years, said that prayers alone would not help the Tibetan cause.

“The prayers need to be put into action for results,” he said.

The prayer ceremonies were organised by the government-in-exile’s Department of Religion and Culture to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising March 10, 1959.

The 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner said that most of the difficulties being faced world-over could be overcome with compassion.

“The compassion should come through secular ways.” he added.