Bodhgaya, January 8 – Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said Wednesday he hoped Tibet would gain self-rule under the Chinese constitution.
“I am in favour of the autonomy of Tibet under the constitution of the People’s Republic of China,” he told reporters in Bodhgaya.
“I have been making efforts for bilateral talks with China to secure the long-cherished dream of the autonomy of the Tibetans’ holy land,” he said.
Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, the Dalai Lama’s envoy to the US, and four other envoys of the Tibetan spiritual leader, visited Tibet last year in what China termed a private visit to see relatives.
The trip raised hope that Beijing wished to reopen dialogue with the Dalai Lama, which was broken off in 1993.
The Dalai Lama is in Bodhgaya _ the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment _ to attend the Buddhist Kalchakra Puja festival which begins on Saturday.
A tight security blanket has been thrown over the city after threats to his life from Chinese militant groups.
Indian authorities said they received death threats from organisations identified as Sugden and Norge, which also have links with Nepal’s Maoist rebels.
“The Government of India is doing everything possible for my security and I am sure the security steps taken during the Kalchakra festival are enough,” he said.
The Dalai Lama is also facing protests from local Buddhists, who accuse him of being anti-Indian and have threatened acts of violence during the visit.
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet after an abortive uprising in 1959 and established the government-in-exile in India.
China, which has ruled Tibet since 1951, has been accused of trying to wipe out its Buddhist-based culture through political and religious repression and a flood of ethnic Chinese immigration.