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China trying to annihilate Buddhism: Dalai Lama

March 10, 2010 17:29 IST

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Wednesday accused China of trying to deliberately 'annihilate Buddhism' in Tibet by conducting a campaign of 'patriotic re-education' in monasteries there.

"Today, the Chinese authorities are conducting various political campaigns, including a campaign of patriotic re-education in many monasteries in Tibet. They are putting the monks and nuns in prison-like conditions, depriving them the opportunity to study and practise in peace," he said in a statement.

"These conditions make the monasteries function more like museums and are intended to deliberately annihilate Buddhism," the 74-year-old spiritual leader said in a statement issued on the 51st anniversary of the Tibetans' National Uprising Day.

Alleging that there was no positive response from Chinese authorities on the issue of Tibet's autonomy, he said, "Our stand to continue with the dialogue remains unchanged."

"For more than 30 years, I have tried my best to enter into talks with the People's Republic of China to resolve the issue of Tibet through the middle-way approach, that is of benefit to us both," he said in the statement on the day, which also marks the second anniversary of the protest that erupted in Tibet in 2008.

"Though I have articulated Tibetans' aspirations, which are in accordance with the constitution of the People's Republic of China and the law on national regional autonomy, we have not obtained any concrete results," he said.

"Judging by the attitude of the present Chinese leadership, there is little hope that a result will be achieved soon. Nevertheless, our stand to continue with the dialogue remains unchanged," the spiritual leader in-exile said.

After a gap of 15 months, Beijing had resumed dialogue with the special envoys of the Dalai Lama in January, but the ninth round of talks did not yield any result. In February, China had vehemently protested the meeting between Dalai Lama and United States President Barack Obama in Washington.

After the failed uprising against China in 1959, the Dalai Lama had fled Tibet and taken asylum in India.

Stating that the dispute is not between the Chinese authorities and the Tibetan people, but because of ultra-Leftist policies of the Communist authorities there, he asked Tibetans to build close relations with the Chinese people and try to make them aware of the truth of the Tibetan cause.

"Though the authorities may cling to a hardliner stand, judging by the political changes taking place on the international stage, there will be time when the truth will prevail. Hence, it is important that every one be patient and not give up," he said.

"Once the issue is resolved, I will not take any political position, nor will members of the Tibetan administration in-exile hold any position in the government in Tibet," he said.

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