By Naresh Thakur
Dharamsala: Day after China dismissed possibility of the Dalai Lama’s return to his homeland, the exile Tibetan government headquartered here, said depicting the spiritual leader as ‘spilittist’ was a miscalculation on the part of the Chinese government.
“The world knows the Dalai Lama very well and is revered as a messenger of peace and love,” said Tsering Wangchuk, a spokesperson of the exile government’s department of information and international relationship.
Wangchuck said neither the Dalai Lama nor the Central Tibetan Administration was asking for separation of Tibet from China, but a genuine autonomy for Tibet within the constitutional framework People’s Republic of China.
“Therefore, branding him ‘splittist’ by China shows gross miscalculation on the part of Chinese leadership,” said the exile government official, expressing fear that such statements by Chinese official could aggravate situation in the Tibet.
“With the growing number self-immolations inside Tibet to protest the Chinese policies in Tibet, we are afraid that such statement by China will only add to the sufferings of Tibetans inside Tibet,” he added.
The exile government’s reaction came in response to the statement by a Chinese foreign ministry official, who on Wednesday dismissed possibility of the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet.
“Our position on the Dalai Lama is consistent and clear,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
“What he needs to do is not make a so-called return to Tibet, but give up his position and conduct on splitting China. This will do well for him,” the Chinese officials had said.
It is worth mentioning that the Dalai Lama, in an interview to AFP, had indicated that he was in informal talks with China to make a historic pilgrimage to Tibet after more than half a century in exile.
The 1989 Nobel Peace Laureate said he had “made clear” his desire to undertake the pilgrimage to a sacred mountain in his homeland, two contacts in China, including retired communist party officials.
“For example the deputy party secretary in the autonomous region of Tibet, he also mentioned the possibility of my visit as a pilgrimage to that sacred place,” the 79-year- old had said adding, “It’s not finalized as yet, but the idea is there.”
The Dalai Lama has long expressed a desire to visit Wutai Shan, a mountain in northern China considered sacred by the Tibetan Buddhists.