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China pressured our government against inviting the Dalai Lama, says top Sri Lankan Buddhist leader

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the members of Sri Lankan delegation that offered Buddha's sacred relics at his residence in Dharamshala on April 4, 2024 (Photo/Tenzin Choejor)

By Tenzin Nyidon 

DHARAMSHALA, April 6: Venerable Dr. Waskaduwe Mahindawamsa Nayaka Thero, head of Amarapura Sambuddha Sasanodaya Maha Nikaya from Sri Lanka in an interview with Wion, disclosed that China exerted pressure on the Sri Lankan government against inviting the foremost Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the country. 

In his interview, Ven. Dr. Waskaduwe said, “We respect him and invited him to Sri Lanka, but China did not like that. China pressed against our government as well, we don’t like that. He is a Buddhist leader, he has the freedom, and we have the freedom to invite.”

In 2023, senior Sri Lankan Buddhist monks extended an invitation to the Dalai Lama to visit the island. However, Beijing’s profound insecurities became apparent in response to this invitation. Reports from Sri Lankan media outlets revealed that Chinese diplomats stationed in Colombo promptly travelled to Kandy in the central highlands. There, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, Hu Wei, held discussions with the Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thero, the Mahanayake Thero of the Malwathu Chapter of the Siam Nikaya, a Buddhist monastic order.

Hu told the monks that the Dalai Lama “is not a simple monk” as he claims, but labelled him as a “separatist,” and a “political exile disguised as a religious figure who has long been involved in anti-China separatist activities for a considerable period, aiming to split Tibet from China.” 

China has had a history of exerting pressure and opposing invitations extended to the Dalai Lama. The Chinese government consistently voices objections to the Dalai Lama’s visits to other countries, especially his trips to Arunachal Pradesh, a north-eastern state in India where China asserts territorial sovereignty. Countries that host the Dalai Lama often face repercussions from China. In November 2016, when the Tibetan leader visited Mongolia, a nation where he holds significant reverence, Beijing responded by imposing an economic blockade on the landlocked country.

Ven. Dr. Waskaduwe, a prominent figure in the Buddhist community of Sri Lanka, presented a relic of Lord Shakyamuni Buddha to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamshala on Thursday morning. He described the Dalai Lama as the “most deserving recipient of this sacred offering” due to his invaluable contributions to Buddhism. 

2 Responses

  1. HH The Dalai Lama was presented a holy relic of the Buddha from Kapilavastu by Venerable Dr Waskaduwe Mahindawansa of Sri Lanka. This is a great honour to HH The Dalai Lama. It is not only from the Sri Lankan Sangha but must have tacit support by the Government. THE VENERABLE SRI LANKAN BUDDHIST LEADER CALLED HH THE DALAI LAMA “THE LEADER OF THE WORLD BUDDHIST SANGHA”!!! That’s a great honour for The Dalai Lama and Tibet! When the Dalai Lama was enthroned as the ruler of Tibet, a representative of Sri Lanka was a monk in attendance. It can be seen on photos taken during the auspicious event. When communist China invaded and occupied Tibet, Sri Lanka didn’t have any dealings with the Chinese communists for a long time. This was admitted by Chou Enlai in a conversation with Pandit Nehru. Sri Lankan monks were the first sangha to attend the Dalai Lama’s teaching from the Pali tradition of Buddhism. South East Asian nations like Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Laos are all Buddhists from the Pali tradition. However, it was Sri Lankan Sangha members who have consistently attended the Dalai Lama’s teachings and recited the Pali sutra of Prajaparamita before commencing the teachings. It is very sad that the Dalai Lama couldn’t visit Sri Lanka owing to the interference of the anti-Buddhist, anti-Dalai Lama Chinese communist regime. The regime is terrified that if the Dalai Lama visits Sri Lanka, it will bring greater awareness about the illegal invasion and occupation of Tibet and throw light on the brutality of the Chinese communist military occupation. That is why it is limiting the international space for the Dalai Lama as a means of damage control to its genocidal act it is perpetrating in occupied Tibet. Even though this is disconcerting, the regime will not succeed in hiding its depraved acts of genocide in Tibet. Communist China today is the most hated and most distrusted country in the world. The whole world is suspicious of the regime and are ganging up to stand up to its evil suspected intentions. It is also increasingly isolated and has only Russia as its partner of convenience. The suspicion among the international community is communist China’s invasion and subsequent occupation of Tibet since 1959 and the illegal occupation of South East Asian Sea (South China Sea) since 20014. India, from the time of Pandit Nehru has been a compliant country with the communist regime but now it’s parting ways with it! The reason is Chinese endless aggression on India since Tibet was occupied. Despite its compliant attitude towards communist China for the last 65 years by parroting “Tibet is part of China” mantra and using its good offices to admit communist China to the United Nations and being the first to recognise the regime from non-communist countries, China repaid India’s good will with invasion in 1962. Today, it’s the only UN permanent member who is blocking India’s membership as a permanent member!!! Despite our frosty relationship with Bhutan owing to the political subterfuge by vested interests, Tibetan- Bhutan relationship nose dived after Dasho Yangkyi (the Tibetan consort of Bhutan’s monarch) fiasco. However, Bhutan has never said, “Tibet is part of China”! It may be because it has no diplomatic relation with the PRC to date. Like wise, according to Rinchen Sadutsang, Pakistan and Cuba were the most vocal supporters of Tibet’s independent status in the 1950s and 1960s. This indeed is true because in a talk with Pandit Nehru Zulfikar Ali Bhutto clearly tells Nehru that he thinks Tibet is an independent country! On the other hand, Nepal who has invaded Tibet and plundered Tashi Lhunpo monastery and whose Princess Birkuti Deva married Emperor Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century has been less than kind to Tibet. It has aggressively suppressed Tibetans and even forbade the Tibetans from celebrating the Dalai Lama’s birthday! Since India is incensed by China’s naming of places in Arunachal Pradesh, it is a good opportunity for India to award Bharat Ratna to the Dalai Lama to demonstrate India’s extreme displeasure. Such an act will prevent further reckless actions by communist China in future. There is little to gain by sparring with China. Just show them where they stand in Tibet and they will take stock of the situation they are in. Come on India! Have some spine! China is illegally occupying Tibet. IT’S CLAIM TO TIBET DOESN’T STAND THE TEST OF HISTORY! ITS AS DUBIOUS AS ITS CLAIM TO SOUTH EAST ASIAN SEA (South China Sea). India must reject China’s baseless claim to Tibet by RECOGNISING TIBET AS AN OCCUPIED COUNTRY ON THE BASIS OF TIBET’S RECORDED HISTORY AND LEGALLY ON THE SIMLA CONVENTION OF 1913-1914! That will seal the mouth of the communist regime once and for all!!!

  2. You should never bow down to China’s pressure. If you do that, China will never let you do what you want, and she will dictate what she wants. You are an independent and free country and don’t let China to take away your independence and freedom. Stand up for your rights and freedom. Victory for freedom! Victory for Sri Lanka!

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