Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, today accused China of spreading wrong information about his trip to Arunachal Pradesh, saying it is normal for Beijing to give “political colour” to his spiritual visits.
The ongoing visit by the 81-year-old Nobel Laureate to the frontier state has triggered strident protests by China.
The Dalai Lama also criticised China for making a bid to name his successor.
“The Chinese people were being fed wrong information(by China) about me,” he told reporters, adding that they realised this when they met him in other countries.
“The Chinese people have every right to know the reality, but totalitarianism had done a great damage,” he observed after addressing devotees at the monastery, considered one of the holiest sites in Tibetan Buddhism.
On whether his visit to Tawang, a place Beijing claims to be its own, will affect India-China ties, he said: “We will have to wait and see. But it is normal for China to give political colour to my spiritual visits.”
“I wish Chinese officials accompanied me during my visits to find out if I am doing or saying anything against them,” he added.
China had years ago confined the Dalai Lama-nominated Panchen Lama and projected its own Panchen Lama, a monk immediately below the rank of the Dalai Lama.
“Beijing’s bid to name my successor to undermine the Tibetans’ cause is ‘nonsense’, he said.
“As early as 1969, I had said the Tibetan people will decide if this very institution of Dalai Lama should continue or not. If this institution is no longer relevant, it should stop,” said the Dalai Lama, who had fled Tibet back in 1959 to take refuge in Tawang.
“Nobody knows who or where the next Dalai Lama will be born or come from. Some indication (about his reincarnation) might come at the time of my death, but now there is no such indication,” he said.
He, however, did not rule out the possibility of the next Dalai Lama being a woman.
“In the past, Chinese emperors did have involvement in the reincarnation of some Lamas but they were disciples of certain Tibetan lamas,” he pointed out.
While forgiving China for its atrocities committed against the Tibetans, the Dalai Lama wondered why despite his adopting a middle-path the Chinese government continued to call him a separatist.
“This shows a negative attitude. Tibet has very good relationship with China for thousands of years. I have no issues with ‘One China’ policy ensuring economic benefit to Tibet, provided we have the right to preserve our own culture and language,” he said.
Praising Taiwan for preserving Chinese culture, the Dalai Lama observed that China needed another cultural revolution based on compassion and “not on hatred and anger” which was the case with the one led by Mao Zedong.
On the BJP-led NDA government’s China policy, the Tibetan leader said: “It is more or less the same as that of the Congress from the days of Narasimha Rao but I admire (Narendra) Modi, he is active and seeks development.”