Tibet: News in Focus We want to stay with China: His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet

We want to stay with China: His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet

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Tibet-India-Media-Press-Kolkatta-2017Kolkata, India — Speaking to over 250 audience and guests at an interactive session hosted by the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, November 23, 2017, His Holiness said, "We are not seeking independence... We want to stay with China. We want more development."

His Holiness said that China too must respect Tibetans' culture and heritage. "Past is past, we have to look towards future. Since 1974 we are not seeking independence. Tibetans also want modernised Tibet. We need more material development. For that, remaining with China is in our interest, provided they respect Tibet's unique culture and heritage."

His Holiness also said that China had changed since it began to reintegrate with the world order in the late 1970s. "With China joining the world, it has changed 40% to 50% of what it was earlier."

The Nobel Peace laureate added, Like China prizes its culture and traditions, Tibetans prize theirs, he said, adding that both have unique culture and script. The Chinese people love their own country. We love our own country. "From Yangtze to Sindhu rivers, major rivers ... come from Tibet. Billions of lives are involved. Taking care of the Tibetan plateau is not only good for Tibet but for billions of people."

Calling attention to Tibet's environment, His Holiness stated that ecological significance of the Tibetan Plateau is as relevant to the world as is for Tibetans. He recalled a Chinese research study which revealed that the Tibetan plateau affects global warming as much as South Pole and the North Pole. "The Chinese ecologist called it the Third Pole," His Holiness said.

"Major rivers covering whole of Asia, from Yangtze to Sindhu rivers originate from Tibet. Billions of lives are involved. Taking care of the Tibetan Plateau is not only good for Tibet but for billions of people," His Holiness said, iterating one of his lifelong commitment—protection of the natural pristine environment of Tibet.

The 82-year-old Nobel laureate went on to make comparisons between India and China. "Compared to the Chinese, I think Indian people are lazy. Maybe it is due to the climate. But India is most stable," he said in a lighter vein, adding that Indians are more genuine. "Chinese officials are experts in giving artificial smiles."

The Tibetan leader suggested that Asian countries create a union similar to the EU. "I always admire the spirit of the European Union. They recognise that Europe is more important than different nations. I feel there should be a union in Asia... India, China, Japan and small countries in this area," he added.

The spiritual leader of Tibet also lauded India's "spirit of religious tolerance", adding that there were "problems sometimes because of politicians trying to manipulate that". His Holiness urged both sides to forget the past and focus on the future. India should combine modern education with basic human values rooted in its traditional teachings, he said. "This could pave the way for peace in the 21st century+ after the violence that has prevailed in the last 100 years," said His Holiness.

"Religion, too, has become a lip service and failed to bridge the divide between humans," he added, blaming politicians for often using it in a wrong way. "India is rich in traditional teachings. These, rather than just religion, can help bring people together. If modern India can combine newage education with lessons on inner values in a secular way, then the country can head in the right direction. Modern education is a bit too materialistic," he said.

Tibet was invaded by the Communist regime in China, starting in 1949. Since that time, over 1.2 million out of six Tibetans died as a direct result of China's invasion and continued occupation of Tibet, over 6000 monasteries have been looted and destroyed.

In 1959, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama along with thousands of others escaped to India, where he was given political asylum. The spiritual leader has set up a government and rebuilt monasteries where masters pass on their teachings to young monks. Tibetans in exile have succeeded in gradually rebuilding their monasteries, preserving their culture and restructuring their society and keeping it alive, in spite of the extremely difficult circumstances.

For his part, the Tibetan spiritual leader travels around the world spreading a message of Peace and Universal Responsibility. He believes that the common aim of all religions, an aim that everyone must try to find, is to foster tolerance, altruism and love. He retired from politics in 2011. But, as one among six million Tibetans, His Holiness said he will continue to serve the cause of Tibet.

Last Updated ( Friday, 24 November 2017 17:52 )