Published By Tenzin Saldon

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the Indian Chamber of Commerce, 23 November 2017. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Kolkata: Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said on Thursday that Tibet wants to stay with China and seek development but China must respect Tibet’s culture and heritage.

Speaking at an interactive session hosted by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, His Holiness said, “We are not seeking independence…We want to stay with China. We want more development.”

The Nobel-winning Tibetan leader stressed that China too must respect Tibetans’ culture and heritage. “Past is past, we have to look towards future. Since 1974 we are not seeking independence. Tibetans also want modernised Tibet. We need more material development. For that, remaining with China is in our interest, provided they respect Tibet’s unique culture and heritage.”

Like China prizes its culture and traditions, Tibetans prize theirs, he said, adding that both have unique culture and script.

His Holiness noted that China had changed since it began to reintegrate with the world order in the late 1970s. “With China joining the world, it has changed 40% to 50% of what it was earlier.”

Calling attention to Tibet’s environment, His Holiness stated that ecological significance of the Tibetan Plateau is as relevant to the world as is for Tibetans. He recalled a Chinese research study which revealed that the Tibetan plateau affects global warming as much as South Pole and the North Pole. “The Chinese ecologist called it the Third Pole,” His Holiness said.

“Major rivers covering whole of Asia, from Yangtze to Sindhu rivers originate from Tibet. Billions of lives are involved. Taking care of the Tibetan Plateau is not only good for Tibet but for billions of people,” His Holiness said, iterating one of his lifelong commitment—protection of the natural pristine environment of Tibet.


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