Dalai Lama thanks India

On a day that marked the beginning of the 60th year of him first setting foot on Indian soil, spiritual leader Dalai Lama said that the Tibetans were not seeking separation from China, but were only seeking “certain rights” mentioned in the Chinese constitution, including Tibetan autonomy “to preserve their own culture”.

The ‘Thank You India’ event in Dharamshala is part of the year-long celebrations planned to mark the milestone 60 years and was originally scheduled in a Delhi stadium, but later moved to Tsuglagkhang temple in McLeodganj in Dharamshala — the seat of Tibetan government — to avoid any fresh confrontation with China. There are high profile visits being planned in April, with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj due to visit Beijing, to be followed by Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and ultimately Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June.

The event on Saturday was attended by Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma and the BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav.

The Dalai Lama thanked India for giving him shelter and said the Tibetans have turned their unfortunate circumstances into a path of enlightenment by reviving their spirit and influence. Ram Madhav, expressed hope that the Dalai Lama “would be able to find a solution to the Tibetan issue through peaceful and democratic means.”

As to what he thought about India’s equation with China, the Dalai Lama said, “Logically, India and China are most populated nations. Any sensible person would want Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai at practical level to live together. Both India and China cannot destroy each other.”

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