New Delhi: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama hinted at the possibility of him visiting China in a year or two, and he claims that it has been made possible by the perceived changes taking place there.
In a recent interview with the Mint, the spiritual leader was quoted as saying, “Things are changing. I think within one year or two years, there is possibility of my visit to China."
Beijing took control over Tibet in 1951 and ever since then they have refused to hold talks with the Dalai Lama, who they consider as a ‘splittist’ leader. If he indeed makes the trip, this will be the first in six decades since he fled Lhasa after a failed uprising against Beijing in 1959.
“I am always telling Tibetans, it is much better to keep Chinese as our brothers and sisters than consider Chinese as our enemy," the Dalai Lama, who celebrated his 84th birthday in July, said in the interview with Mint. “I truly believe China is our neighbour, India, southern neighbour. For the time being the Chinese have some problem, but that is the Chinese Communist Party and some individual(s) within the party. For example, the (1989) Tiananmen event (former Chinese prime minister) Li Peng, main person who created suppression."
“Similarly, for the Tibet issue, now, (a) number of Chinese leaders, they realize over 70 years their policy regarding Tibet...is unrealistic. (There is) too much emphasis on use of force...So now, they find they are in a dilemma how to deal with Tibetan problem," the Dalai Lama said.
But the Dalai Lama believes that this parochial view of the issue is slowly changing. “For the Tibet issue, now, a number of Chinese leaders realize that over 70 years their policy regarding Tibet is unrealistic. There is too much emphasis on use of force that has resulted in a dilemma over how to deal with Tibet," he said.
He also reiterated his position on Tibet and explained that he is still committed to remain with China albeit their culture is free from any kind of oppression. “We are very much willing to remain within the People’s Republic of China, but all Tibetan areas should have the same rights, there should be preservation of Tibetan culture and our own language,” he was quoted as saying.
The history of Tibet from the very beginning has been inextricably linked to India and has often been a cause of tensions between New Delhi and Beijing. The Tibetan government in exile headed by its president Lobsang Sangay is based in Dharamshala and India is also home to 150,000 Tibetans in exile. The Dalai Lama’s presence in India has been a major friction point between the two countries.
Chinese officials have already warned that Beijing will reject any reincarnation of the Tibetan spiritual leader and India endorsing a Dalai Lama chosen by the Tibetan government in exile would become a major political issue between the two countries.