(TibetanReview.net, Dec09, 2015) – Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has said Dec 7 that he was maintaining informal contacts with the Chinese leadership but that the biggest obstacle remained the hardline leaders there who pounce on any sign of conciliatory tendency from the top leadership. Answering questions from the Trans Asia News Service and the PTI in Bangaluru city, the Dalai Lama has also said Tibet had much to blame itself for the tragic political situation in which it finds itself now.
On the questions of contacts with China, the Dalai Lama has said that while there was no formal Sino-Tibetan dialogue taking place, informal links with informed businessmen, retired officials and so on existed. He has said it was hard to say how things will work out.
He has also said there had been reports that when President Xi Jinping seemed to be about to take a more conciliatory view of Tibet, hardliners strongly opposed it.
He has also referred to series of pivotal historical moment marked by lost opportunities which might have contributed to Tibet’s current tragic fate.
To begin with, he regretted the fragmentation of Tibet that took place after the 9th century assassination of the Tibetan Emperor. He also felt that things might have been different if the 13th Dalai Lama had remained at Lhasa when the Younghusband expedition from British India reached there in 1904.
The Dalai Lama has also recalled several other lost opportunities, such as when the advice of a high Tibetan official, who visited India on pilgrimage in 1946 and witnessed the Indian drive for independence, was ignored. He had recommended making contact with Indian leaders, but nothing was done, he has added.
Similarly, in 1948 the Government of India had sent a message to the Government of Tibet, warning of an impending Communist victory in China and its potential ramifications. This too was ignored. Once Chinese troops occupied parts of Eastern Tibet in 1950-51, it was too late. The Tibetan Government tried to raise the issue at the UN, but without success.
The Dalai Lama also felt that India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, did not make big mistakes over Tibet. “The Government of India tried to warn Tibetans, who didn’t respond,” he has said.
In fact, he recalled India’s former Prime Minister Mr Narasimha Rao pointing out to him that India had not recognized Tibet as a part of China, “but as an Autonomous Region of China.” And Mr Rao regarded the tripartite Shimla agreement between China, Tibet and British India in 1914 as valid.
Continuing his programmes in Bangaluru later in the afternoon, the Dalai Lama visited the National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS) where the day before a conference on Integrating Scientific and Contemplative Approaches to Explore the Mind was held in conjunction with the Garden of Samadhi Mind Centre. He addressed an audience of teachers, student and guests and answered questions from the floor.