Reprimanding the Chinese government’s recent statement that “countering Dalai Lama is its top ethnic priority”, Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile Lobsang Sangay on Monday said the Dalai Lama is a solution to the issues concerning Tibetans, and not an obstacle. Alleging that “it’s a wrong policy on the part of Chinese government”, Sangay said, “His holiness the Dalai Lama is a solution to the (Tibetans’) issue and not an obstacle. They (China) know for sure that they are dealing with situations in Xinja, Mongolia and other parts of China.”
“A leader is an important component of a solution when there is an agreement. Now, you have a leader, a great leader in the form of His holiness the Dalai Lama whom 99% of Tibetans follow. Hence, if there is an agreement, he is the person to make sure that it is implemented. So, he is the solution to the issue not an obstacle, and therefore, the Chinese government’s statements are wrong, and it will be wrong as long as they maintain that policy,” Sangay added.
Sangay’s reaction came in the wake of Communist Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region Wu Yingjie’s statement to a Tibetan daily on Friday, “First, we must deepen the struggle against the Dalai Lama clique, make it the highest priority in carrying out our ethnic affairs, and the long-term mission of strengthening ethnic unity.”
As per media reports, China had said that it would make countering Dalai Lama’s influence “highest priority” in its work on ethnic affairs in Tibet, vowing to uproot the monk’s “separatist and subversive” activities, after the spiritual leader while speaking at the European Parliament in France said he merely seeks “genuine autonomy for his Himalayan homeland”. Exiled Tibetans and rights groups say China, which took control of Tibet in 1950, has tried to stamp out religious freedom and culture in the Himalayan region. China rejects the criticism, saying its rule has ended serfdom and brought development.
In 1959, Chinese army brutally quelled a people’s uprising in Tibet. Thousands of Buddhist monasteries were attacked and destroyed by China’s People’s Liberation Army. It was then that the Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama, sought refuge in India, with many of his supporters following suit.