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Updated: March 14, 2012 14:58 IST

Wen says Dharamsala behind Tibetan protests

Ananth Krishnan
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
AP Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday accused the exiled Tibetan religious leader the Dalai Lama and the “government-in-exile” in Dharamsala of trying to “separate Tibet and Tibetan inhabitants away from China” in his first comments on recent protests in the region.

The Chinese Premier said he was “deeply distressed” by the at least 25 self-immolation protests by monks and nuns reported in the past year, but added that the Chinese government was “opposed to such radical moves that disturb and undermine social harmony”.

“The young Tibetans,” he said, “are innocent. We feel deeply distressed by their behaviour.”

His comments appeared to strike a different note from hard-hitting comments from officials in recent days, who described monks behind the protests as “criminals”.

Mr. Wen did however hit out at “the so-called government-in-exile in Dharamsala in India which is a theocratic one”, he said, adding that he believed it was under either “the direct control or indirect influence of the Dalai Lama”.

”Its purpose is to separate Tibet and Tibetan inhabitants away from China,” he alleged. “We have a firm position and principle on this matter.”

The Dalai Lama, however, has stressed that he does not seek Tibet’s independence but only genuine autonomy for Tibetans. He has said that he did not encourage the self-immolations, although he expressed sympathy with monks who said they were protesting restrictive religious policies.

Mr. Wen said the Chinese government had taken strong measures to accelerate development in Tibet, particularly to promote the living standard of farmers and herders. He added that attention needed to be paid to protecting the environment and Tibet’s cultural heritage.

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@ Tipu Qaimkhani
"please ask Dalai Lama what is the basis of his claim that he represents the Tibetans people"
As far as I know, he does not claim to represent Tibetan people. If the Tibetan people believe so, it is their wish. Secondly, my question was a rhetoric to lobsang

from:  Padmakumar Rao
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 01:08 IST

Tibet was never a part of any Chinese empire in the past or of the Republic of China (KMT). The PRC occupied Tibet. Tibetans have never regarded PRC as their motherland. Tibetans have never accepted Chinese rule. The Dalai Lama cooperated with the Chinese in the early years but he realized very soon that there was no way of reconciling Chinese rule with preservation of Tibetan culture. He had to leave his motherland – Tibet – in 1959 and has been in India since. Anyone who knows the Dalai Lama shall understand that he will not encourage things like self-immolation. This is Tibetans’ way of expressing their impatience with Chinese rule. There is nothing axiomatic about the PRC continuing in its present shape for all time to come. It is the law of civilizations that whatever goes up eventually comes down. The present Chinese State too shall change in due time. V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 15 Mar 2012, 1715 IST

from:  Dr V. C. Bhutani
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 17:15 IST

@Tipu Qaimkhani

When did Himachal Pradesh become part of Kashmir? If one doesn't know a subject it's better to be silent rather than expose one's ignorance... and taking the moral high horse while exposing ignorance looks all the more funny. Tibet-China equation is like Assam and not like Kashmir? Well, who says that, except the Chinese and the Pakistanis? Any fair minded human being will vouch China is atrocious in Tibet, trampling native culture. Can we climb from our moral high horses instead than preaching others with our half-baked knowledge and shaky morality?

from:  Murali V
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 15:21 IST

@Sahir

The problem with morality is that it does not allow one to be two faced. Dharamsala itself is located in occupied Kashmir.

from:  Tipu Qaimkhani
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 02:07 IST

@Pudmakumar: My request: please ask Dalai Lama what is the basis of his claim that he represents the Tibetans people.
Your question to Mr. Wen about Marxism and Capitalism is devoid of any substance. A 6000 year old society does not take any cues from Marxism or Capitalism, they do as they see fit. Their economy is not run by Ambanis and Tata's. Their language and culture is not made by movies, domestic or foreign.
Any fair-minded Indian would realize that Tibet-China equation is more like India-Assam equation and nothing like India-Kashmir situation where state is the terrorist.

from:  Tipu Qaimkhani
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 22:09 IST

Tibetan cause has been neglected by India for far too long now. Here
is a group of exceptionally dedicated people fighting an occupational
forces for two generations now that needs all support it can. The fact
that we enjoy an economic relationship with china does not mean that
we are get lulled into complacency. China was, and now more than ever,
a common enemy of both Tibet and India. If realpolitik does not allow
for overt championing of the Tibetan cause, we should be human enough
to lend our moral support to the people of Tibet.

from:  Sahir
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 20:10 IST

In Buddhism, motivation is the key. The monks performed the desperate act of self-immolation to protest against the repressive Chinese policies against Tibetans. The act is totally unselfish; it is the ultimate sacrifice for a just cause. If Chinese government see those peaceful monks as "Criminals", I wonder what would they call the suicide bombers.

from:  Gyaltsen
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 19:19 IST

@ Padmakumar Rao
Marxism concludes: Capitalism in a certain country has succeeded in producing 1/4 GDP of another country that follows its own road to development - SOUR capitalism by another name.

from:  lobsang
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 19:10 IST

Appreciate if this paper can bring in more balanced view by bringing in Dalai Lama version of the situation rather than doing pro-China articles. where is the need for carrying articles on China every other day when none on Dalai Lama appears here. Dalai Lama is a true Buddhist and does not lie whereas Chinese govt always lies.

from:  bala
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 18:34 IST

If mr. Wen and the CCP stopped their continuing abuse,torture and killing of Tibetans and allow real freedom of speech,religion and spiritual practice in Tibet then surely that would stop monks and nuns from taking such tragic actions.
Tibetans want to be free to live openly in their own country, not be swamped by Han chinese immigrants and to be free of Chinese propaganda and total lies about the actual situation in Tibet.
For mr. Wen to even suggest blaming HH Dalai Lama is of course completely insane.

from:  Lao Tzu
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 17:24 IST

@lobsang
My request: please ask Chinese leaders what Marxism says about CAPITALISM.

from:  Padmakumar Rao
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 16:36 IST

Hope India will keep vigil at the border with China

from:  BINU
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 16:26 IST

@ Tenzin Sangpo asks the question "...Now what more one could do of such statements from the leaders who represents the largest population?"

My request: kindly ask the Dalai Lama to come out clearly on what Buddhism says about SUICIDE.

from:  lobsang
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 15:29 IST

Looking at China handling Tibet, it gives us a feeling we are doing quite a better job with Pakistan and all the terrorist groups. It is surprising that mighty China is rattled by a peaceful monk like the Dalai Lama, who by the way is not seeking independence but only adequate autonomy to preserve their language, culture and religion. Whereas we in India are dealing with blood thirsty terrorists who day-in and day-out call for tearing apart India, establishing a Caliphate, launching attacks at will all over our nation, we are able to handle (in comparison with China) with great elegance and ease. Incidentally, we must note that China supports both Pakistan and JuD (aka LET). While we can never even imagine talking to rabid terrorists like those of JuD, China can indeed talk to the Dalai Lama who is a revered monk the world over! Why are they not doing that?

from:  B Ramalingam
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 14:55 IST

The Dalai Lama has repeatedly suggested (in a way requested) the Chinese leaders to undertake full investigation of his private office and the offices of Central Tibetan Administration. But the leaders in Beijing never paid any heed to his sincere suggestion. Now what more one could do of such statements from the leaders who represents the largest population?

from:  Tenzin Sangpo
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 13:47 IST
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