A student monk explaining a science experiment to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the inauguration of a new science study center at Sera Jey Monastery in Bylakuppe, South India on July 7, 2013. (Photo/OHHDL/Tenzin Choejor)
DHARAMSHALA, July 10: China’s leading official in charge of religious groups and ethnic minorities has called for an “absolute fight” against the Dalai Lama while stating that the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader’s demands for genuine autonomy for Tibet “directly conflicts” with China’s constitution.
Yu Zhengsheng, number four in the ruling Communist party's hierarchy, made the comments while talking to local officials and religious leaders in Gansu region of eastern Tibet.
"For the sake of national unity and the development of stability in Tibetan regions, we must take a clear-cut stand and deepen the struggle against the Dalai clique," the official Xinhua news agency cited Yu as saying.
"Only when the Dalai Lama publicly announces that Tibet is an inalienable part of China since ancient time, gives up the stance of 'Tibet independence' and stops his secessionist activities, can his relations with the CPC Central Committee possibly be improved.”
His comments come on the heels of widespread speculations of China’s softening of stance on the Dalai Lama, who was forced into exile in 1959.
Yu said China’s policies towards the 78-year-old Tibetan leader was “consistent and clear” while calling for “an absolute fight against the Dalai Lama clique in order to realise national unification and Tibetan regions' development and stability.”
He stated that the Dalai Lama's Middle-Way Policy aimed at achieving genuine autonomy for Tibet is “completely opposite to China's Constitution and the country's system of regional ethnic autonomy.” The exile Tibetan administration has long argued that the MWA policy works within the framework of China’s constitution.
The Communist party politburo member further accused the Dalai Lama of engaging in “secessionist activities” and called on Tibetan Buddhists to “politically draw a clear line with the Dalai Lama and firmly oppose any secessionist act that sabotages the CPC's rule and the socialist system.”
Yu again proposed “development” as the solution to all problems in Tibet stating that "only when people's lives have been improved can they be better united with the CPC and become a reliable basis for maintaining stability."
He also pledged to expand the use of Mandarin Chinese alongside Tibetan in education to improve job prospects.
Earlier this month, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told BBC’s World Have Your Say programme that the situation in Tibet requires a political solution.
“I have issued public statements, asking China not to treat this as a security matter but to look into the root causes of the suffering of the Tibetans and why they are seem to be driven to such extreme measures of protests such as self-immolation,” Pillay said.
Since 2009, as many as 119 Tibetans living under China’s rule have set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.