The Dalai Lama today accused China of spreading false information about his trip to a monastery in Arunachal Pradesh that drew protests from Beijing. ‘People have the wrong information,’ the 81-year-old told reporters in Tawang where he took shelter on his escape from Tibet in 1959.
‘I wish one Chinese official would accompany me while I’m visiting here, what I’m doing, what I’m saying. They should know the reality. The 1.3-4 billion Chinese people have every right to know the reality…. They only have one-sided information and wrong information is morally wrong, they’re fooling their own people,’ the Nobel laureate further said.
China accused of creating ‘Artificial Controversy’
India has said that the trip is purely religious and pointed out that the Dalai Lama has been to Tawang before, accusing China of creating an ‘artificial controversy’. Some analysts say New Delhi has adopted a firmer approach to China since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in 2014 and invited the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile to attend his swearing-in ceremony.
‘The Dalai Lama has always been welcome to travel wherever he wants in India. But this Government has been a bit firmer on issues of sovereignty,’ said Jayadeva Ranade, head of the Delhi-based Centre for China Analysis and Strategy.
Huge crowds, at least 20,000 by some estimates, turned out to hear the Dalai Lama’s nearly three-hour religious discourse.
Will the next Dalai Lama be from Arunachal Pradesh?
En route to Arunachal Pradesh, the Dalai Lama was reunited with the border guard who escorted him into India after he fled his native Tibet following a failed uprising nearly 60 years ago. Speaking to reporters a few days later, the Dalai Lama said the meeting had been ‘very emotional’, bringing back memories of his dramatic flight across the Himalayas disguised as a soldier.
Mr Ranade said the visit to Tawang – birthplace of an earlier incarnation of the Dalai Lama – had also raised Chinese concerns over the 14th Dalai Lama’s succession.
He has stated that his reincarnation may be found outside Tibet, and Arunachal Pradesh, with its rich Tibetan culture, is an obvious contender. Under Tibetan Buddhist tradition, senior monks identify a young boy who shows signs he is a reincarnation of a late leader. China’s Communist rulers maintain that they have the sole authority to decide on reincarnation, which the Dalai Lama has objected to.