(TibetanReview.net, May19, 2014) – An editorial May 18 on the sundaytimes.lk website of Sri Lanka has accused Colombo of practicing double standards in denying a pilgrimage visit for Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, while the government accuses other countries of doing just that on itself. The editorial comment followed an announcement earlier in the week that Pope Francis, the supreme head of the Catholic Christian world, would make a State visit to Colombo on the invitation of the Government of Sri Lanka.
The editorial spoke positively on the pope’s visit but wondered why “the Dalai Lama, the deposed Head of State and spiritual leader of Tibet and the ‘face of Buddhism’ to the world” was being denied a visa to visit the country.
Noting that the Dalai Lama had publicly expressed a wish to pay homage at the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth) in Kandy and the Sri Maha Bodhiya at Anuradhapura, the editorial expressed disappointment that the government of Sri Lanka was denying him a visa due to one single reason: objections by the Chinese Government.
The editorial acknowledged that Sri Lanka was certainly indebted to China for having provided the arms and ammunition required to quell an armed separatist uprising in the country’s north at a time when few countries offered a help. However, it added, Beijing’s help was certainly not philanthropic and it may have had ulterior motives and a long-term perspective in what it did, as had now become obvious with “the beginning of a new era of ‘unsolicited projects’” from China.
The editorial concluded that as the country had finished celebrating Vesak, the thrice blessed month of the Buddhist calendar, with much fanfare, the double standard remained.