(TibetanReview.net, Jul08’23) – Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has said Jul 8 that China, which derides him as a separatist leader, was seeking to contact him, whether “officially or unofficially”.
“I am always open to talk. Now China also realises that the spirit of the Tibetan people is very strong. So, in order to deal with Tibetan problems, they want to contact me. I am also ready. We are not seeking independence. We have decided since many years that we remain part of the People’s Republic of China…Now China is changing. The Chinese, officially or unofficially, want to contact me,” indiatoday.in Jul 8 quoted him as saying.
The Dalai Lama has made the remarks while speaking to reporters in Dharamshala, his exile home for the past over 60 years, before embarking on a visit to Delhi and then for a month-long sojourn in Ladakh.
He was responding to a question on whether he wished to resume talks with China.
Earlier, in his message on his 88th birthday on Jul 6, the Dalai Lama said: “I’m angry with no one, not even those Chinese leaders who have adopted a harsh attitude towards Tibet. Indeed, China has historically been a Buddhist country as witnessed by the many temples and monasteries I saw when I visited that land” in the 1950’s.
The Dalai also spoke about how youthful and healthy he felt despite being now 88 years old and expressed confidence to live to be more than 110 years old, and to continue to serve Tibet and humanity for another 15 to 20 years at least.
Successive Dalai Lamas since the fifth have been the temporal head and spiritual leader of Tibet since 1642. However, following China’s invasion and occupation of Tibet, the current Dalai Lama, the 14th, oversaw the full democratisation of the Tibetan political set up and in 2011 formally relinquished all his political powers in favour of the elected leadership consisting of an executive and a legislature, besides a judiciary branch as well.
The Dalai Lama has for decades pursued what he calls a mutually beneficial middle-way policy towards China, seeking autonomy for his united homeland in return for accepting Chinese sovereignty.
China claims, however, that it liberated Tibet and there is no issue to be resolved. It has called the Dalai Lama’s approach separatist.
China also claims that Tibet is already autonomous, although it is more tightly and directly controlled from Beijing than the Chinese provinces of what is called the People’s Republic of China.