A monk smiles as he holds a photograph of the Dalai Lama at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya on Saturday. (AP)
Bodh Gaya, Jan. 9: The Dalai Lama today asked people across the world to visit his country under the “military occupation” of China to see for themselves the “sufferings” of Tibetans, as his five-day peace lectures ended with an “emphatic political” appeal.
“I request all of you to make a visit to Tibet to have your assessment of the situation. Particularly after 2008, the situation has turned worse in Tibet and your Tibetan fellow human beings are undergoing the worst-ever suffering under Chinese military rule,” the Buddhist monk told a gathering that included hundreds of westerners.
The condemnation of Beijing’s “dictatorship” has come despite a condition Delhi had set the Tibetan leader: that he wouldn’t make any political statement against China.
However, once in a while, the Dalai Lama has been making statements bordering on the political to address concerns of his people, and Delhi is unlikely to make it an issue, especially against the backdrop of friction between India and China over visas for Kashmiris and Arunachal Pradesh.
Observers described the Dalai Lama’s statement as an “emphatic” comment that may have been prompted by the presence of so many people from non-Asian and non-Buddhist countries.
The five-day lectures at Bodh Gaya, the place of the Buddha’s enlightenment 2,500 years ago, drew some 4,000 visitors from Australia, Africa and Europe apart from the nearly 30,000 domestic audience.
The Dalai Lama’s impassioned plea came within a year of his appeal last March to the UN and other international agencies to “inspect the violation of human rights” in Tibet. The agencies, however, did not respond to the spiritual leader’s appeal from Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, apparently because of China’s clout.