His Holiness the Dalai Lama (c), Gaj Singh, former ruler of Jodhpur (2nd R), Chandresh Kumari, MP,
Lok Sabha (2nd L) during a programme in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India (Photo:TibetNet
Dharamsala, February 14 – The Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has reiterated his position of seeking genuine autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the People’s Republic of China. The Dalai Lama who was listed among 25 political icons of all time by TIME magazine earlier this month however denied allegations that he wants ‘Greater Tibet’. "We have never demanded 'Greater Tibet'. China calls Tibet as Xizang. The Tibetan people living in exile, out of the total 6 million, came from different parts of Tibet, including Kham and Amdo Provinces. But the Chinese government still calls Tibet as Xizang, which means the Western side. If Xizang is considered as the only part of Tibet, then I would cease to be a Tibetan because Kham and Amdo are not within this region. So the Chinese government's accusations that, the Tibetan side is demanding a "Greater Tibet" with Tibetan areas in Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan, is just to gain political mileage," the Dalai Lama said.
His Holiness also reaffirmed his responsibility towards Tibet issue as one of his three commitments saying he cannot forsake his people and responsibility towards finding a lasting solution to the issue of Tibet.
The Tibetan leader was on Saturday addressing over 2,000 people on the ethics for the new millennium in Jaipur. The talk was jointly organised by Santokba Durlabhji Memorial Hospital and Research Institute and Barefoot College.
The Tibetan leader encouraged people to practice religious tolerance and harmony in their daily lives. "Religious harmony and ethical human values are not something to be delivered by the government, these should be built by the individuals at the family and society level and spread to national and international levels.”
His Holiness said most problems in the world are man-made, and that the solutions to these problems lie with humans. “The progress in science and technology has brought great benefit. On the other hand, weapons like nuclear arsenals capable of destroying the world were also developed. Even though the past century witnessed two world wars, the capability for destruction was limited and low. But it would be more destructive if wars are fought in the present 21st century,” he said.
His Holiness had visited Jodhpur on Thursday on the invitation of the city’s former ruler Maharaja Gaj Singh and Chandresh Kumari, Member of Parliament. His Holiness met with the local Tibetan community of sweater sellers and addressed them. The Tibetan leader expressed his gratitude to the government of Rajasthan and its people for extending support to the Tibetan sweater sellers’ community of Jodhpur.