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Rediff.com  » News » At Tawang, Dalai Lama takes on China

At Tawang, Dalai Lama takes on China

Last updated on: November 08, 2009 14:46 IST

An 'emotional' Dalai Lama on Sunday hit out at China for opposing his visit to Arunachal Pradesh and expressed surprise over Chinese claims to Tawang.

The spiritual leader, who arrived at Tawang on a four-day visit to this town, said it was usual for the Chinese to protest wherever he goes and his trip here was "non-political".

Recalling the Sino-India war in 1962, the Dalai Lama told reporters that the People's Liberation Army of China had occupied Tawang and nearly reached Bom Dila that year.

"But the then Chinese government declared a unilateral ceasefire and withdrew (its forces). Now the Chinese have got different views. This is something which I really don't know. I am little bit surprised," he said in an apparent reference to Chinese claims over Tawang.

On Chinese opposition to his visit, the 74-year-old Dalai Lama said, "That is quiet usual. Wherever I go they protest. It is totally baseless. The Chinese Communists turn quite sad usually on my every movement. Of course my visit here is non-political."

On his visit, he said he was getting "emotional" as he had crossed this town in 1959 while fleeing from Tibet.

"I get emotional. When I escaped I had mental stress and anxiety. I had feeling of hopelessness. But the moment I saw (Krishna) Menon and other MEA officials on the border then I had a feeling of reunion and safe," the Dalai Lama said.

"So, now I am very happy to be here. My main aim of the visit is promotion of human values wherever I go. Just now I returned from Japan where I explained that the ultimate source of happiness of life is within ourselves," he said.

Asked whether he had any message for China, he said, "nothing, no, nothing."

The Dalai Lama said the Tibet Buddhist religion and the culture are passing through a difficult period.

"So for preservation of Tibetan Buddhism and culture in this country and in this area the people have the real responsibility. Many people, particularly young, belonging to the Tibetan refugee community are joining monastery and various Tibetan institutions which is a very hopeful sign," he said.

The Dalai Lama said, particularly in south India 2,000 such community members have joined the institutions and the local people are showing genuine interest to study Buddhism and preserve its culture.

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