Tibetans not seeking ‘greater Tibet’: Dalai Lama

Sunday, February 13, 2011

DHARAMSALA - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said he is not seeking a ‘greater Tibet’ as alleged by China, but reiterated that he cannot forsake responsibility towards finding a lasting solution to the issue.

As a Tibetan I cannot forsake my people and my responsibility towards finding a lasting solution to the issue of Tibet. I assure Tibetans not to worry, the 75-year-old Nobel laureate said at a function in Jaipur in Rajasthan Saturday, according to a post on the website of the Tibetan government-in-exile here.

The Dalai Lama also denied allegations made by the Chinese leadership that the Tibetan side is seeking “great Tibet”.

“We have never demanded ‘greater Tibet’. China calls Tibet as Xizang. The Tibetan people living in exile, totalling around six million, came from different parts of Tibet, including Kham and Amdo provinces.

“But the Chinese government still calls Tibet as Xizang, which means the western side. If Xizang is considered as the only part of Tibet, then I would cease to be a Tibetan because Kham and Amdo are not within this region,” the spiritual guru noted.

Delivering a talk organised by Santokba Durlabhji Memorial Hospital and Research Institute and Barefoot College, the Dalai Lama added: “So the Chinese governments accusations that the Tibetan side is demanding a ‘greater Tibet’ with Tibetan areas in Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan, is just to gain political mileage.”

The Dalai Lama, who was listed by Time magazine Feb 6 among the worlds top 25 political icons, has been following a “middle path” policy that seeks greater autonomy for Tibetans rather than complete independence.

The Dalai Lama and his supporters fled Tibet and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959. He has since headed the Tibetan government-in-exile from here, which is not recognised by any country in the world.

Filed under: Religion

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