(TibetanReview.net, May19’19) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has said May 16 that Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, was not barred from visiting his country but sought to downplay the significance of the issue.
“Dalai Lama is not barred from entering Russia. But there are not very many Buddhists in Russia,” tass.com May 16 quoted Putin as saying while addressing a media forum “Truth and Justice” organized by the Russia-wide National Front.
Putin was stated to have made the remark in the context of stressing that his country did not discriminate against people of different religions, whether Christian, or Judaists, or Moslems.
“Let us dwell on this topic,” he was stated to have continued, “There are countries with a large Buddhist population, and their relations with Dalai Lama cannot be described as good. Nevertheless, we will think about it.”
Putin was obviously referring to countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos where a visit by the Dalai Lama remains unthinkable given their hypersensitivity to China’s concerns on this issue.
The report noted that Russian Foreign Ministry had earlier said a visit by Dalai Lama was impossible due to the “political motives” in his activities.
That is only because China calls the Dalai Lama a separatist threatening the nation’s unity although he only seeks genuine autonomy for his homeland under China’s exiting constitution.