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Brigitte-Oeppinger-Walchshofer-TibetNew Delhi — The Austrian ambassador to India has said that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is most welcome to Austria. H.E Brigitte Oeppinger-Walchshofer, Ambassador of Austria said she believes the spiritual leader of Tibet is one of the most revered spiritual figures in the world.

Her comments came after President of Botswana Ian Khama said his country is not China's colony. Dr Ian Khama, who is president of the diamond-rich nation of Africa less than two million people, stood up to the world's largest communist totalitarian power over His Holiness the Dalai Lama's planned visit to his county in August 2017.

Countries should not succumb to China's pressure while deciding on possible visits by spiritual leader of Tibet His Holiness Dalai Lama, said a senior diplomat this week. Speaking to The Hindu, Austrian envoy Brigitte Oeppinger said His Holiness the Dalai Lama was "most welcome" in her country.

Brigitte Oeppinger further explained that the European Union had always maintained positive policy on His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is one of the most revered spiritual figures in the world.

"The Dalai Lama is always welcome in Austria. I don't think there is a single country in the European Union where he would not be allowed in. The Tibetan spiritual leader is a very revered man and people are fascinated by him in the way that they are with Mahatma Gandhi. Countries do not have to succumb to such pressures [from China]. We don't have a problem with him visiting us and China knows our position on this issue," said Ms Brigitte Oeppinger.

The Austrian Envoy also indicated how in the past certain countries in Africa had denied permission to the Tibetan spiritual leader in moves that created major controversy inside the African civil society.

"I remember once South Africa took such a decision [barred the entry] and it triggered a big discussion as many people were very unhappy with this move," she said.

The envoy's comments came in the backdrop of Doklam standoff and the recent move of Botswana in southern Africa to stop the entry of the Tibetan monk. Ms. Brigitte Oeppinger said non-violence propagated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Mandela and Gandhi showed the way forward for the world.

Tibet was invaded by the Communist regime in China, starting in 1949. Since that time, over 1.2 million out of 6 Tibetans died as a direct result of China's invasion and continued occupation of Tibet, over 6000 monasteries have been looted and destroyed— Crimes against Humanity and Genocide include murder, massacres, torture, rape, starvation, extreme deprivation, forced marches, enslavement, brutal violence, and systematic extermination. The communist regime continues to call this a 'peaceful liberation', that the "Tibetans are living in a Maoist socialist paradise."

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