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Dalai Lama hopeful of Lhasa visit, espies changing heart in Beijing

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(TibetanReview.net, Jul12’23) – Ever the optimist, with unflinching faith in the innate goodness of a human being, be he even President Xi Jinping, the Dalai Lama has on Jul 11 expressed a guarded optimism that one day he will visit Lhasa, the capital of his Tibetan homeland, and believes that the Chinese way of thinking is changing slowly.

The Dalai Lama, who just marked his 88th birthday on Jul 6, has expressed his optimism as he arrived at his Shewatsel Phodrang residence in Ladakh’s capital Leh for a month-long stay in this Tibet-border Union Territory of India.

The exile spiritual leader of Tibet has also reiterated a well-grounded confidence to live to be well over 100 years of age. “I’ve observed indications in my dreams that I may yet live until I’m 100 or 110 years old,” he has said.

“Meanwhile, if the weather treats me kindly, I may stay here more than three weeks—this is what I’m thinking of doing,” he has added.

The Dalai Lama has found it encouraging that in spite of having an atheist government that is anti-religion, interest in Buddhism is growing in China.

“In China there are also a growing number of people interested in Buddhism. And despite the Chinese government’s efforts to uproot Tibetan religion and culture, interest in Tibetan Buddhism continues to increase.”

Also, citing a Professor from the Chinese city of Lanzhou, the Dalai Lama has said: “In the past, Chinese officials referred to me as the reactionary Dalai, but lately they seem to have stopped saying that. Apparently, the number of Chinese people with faith in the Dalai Lama is growing. It seems the Chinese government are inconsistent in the way they regard me.”

He believes that this could pave the way for him to pay a visit to Lhasa, which he was forced to leave in 1959, at 25 years of age, saying: “Consequently, it seems I may eventually be able to visit Lhasa. However, even if I am able to go, I don’t plan to stay there. I’d rather return to India and be able to visit Ladakh again.”

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