News and Views on Tibet

Tibetans to expose ‘real face’ of China during Kalchakra

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By Anand Mohan Sahay

Tibetans are trying to expose the “real face” of China during the nine-day Kalchakra festival, which starts on January 11 in Bodh Gaya.

“We will certainly use the Kalchakra festival to propagate our cause by distributing booklets, pamphlets, photographs and showing documentary films,” says an official of the department of information and international relations of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

The Dalai Lama leads the special Kalchakra prayers. About half-a-million Buddhists from all over the world are expected to attend the festival this year.

A large number of propaganda materials have been brought from Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.

“It is the cheapest way for Tibetans to narrate their tale of woes before a largely sympathetic audience,” official said.

There will be a photo-exhibition depicting Chinese oppression in Tibet, destruction of monasteries and other holy places and harassment of the locals. Last year, too, such an exhibition was organised.

A 38-page publication in English and Tibetan titled ‘Beijing needs the Dalai Lama for Peace and Stability in Tibet’, one among the many being distributed, makes it clear that peace and stability cannot return to Tibet without the Dalai Lama’s participation in governance.

“The basic flaw in China’s new policy in its efforts to solve the problem of Tibet is the thinking that the solution can exclude the involvement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The other is in attempting to solve the problem over the heads of Tibet’s citizens,” it says.

The booklet quotes the Dalai Lama as saying, “I am not seeking independence. As I have said many times before, what I am seeking is for the Tibetan people to be given the opportunity to have genuine self-rule in order to preserve their civilisation and for the unique Tibetan culture, religion, language and way of life to grow and thrive. My main concern is to ensure the survival of the Tibetan people with their unique Buddhist cultural heritage.”

The booklet says that China’s policy of forcing Tibetans, particularly monks and the nuns, to denounce His Holiness will prove counterproductive.

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