Dalai Lama seeks autonomy anew

June 06, 2014 - 6:34:13 am
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (left), accompanied by Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, the prime minister (second  left), speaks during the launch of a new campaign for Tibetan autonomy in Dharamshala yesterday.

DHARAMSALA:  The leader of Tibet’s exiled government accused China yesterday of blanket repression in his homeland and warned that resentment over its rule was growing as he launched a new campaign for autonomy.

Speaking as he and other senior exiles, including the Dalai Lama, renewed their push for a “Middle Way” of peaceful autonomy within China, Lobsang Sangay called for more international help for the Tibetan cause.

The Dalai Lama, who is the spiritual leader of the Tibetans, said there was no shortage of commitment from the exiled leadership but added that patience was needed to produce results.

“There is total repression and total discrimination” in Tibet, Sangay, who is the Tibetan government-in-exile’s prime minister, said.

“All this repression is making Tibetans more resentful of the Chinese government’s policies and towards the Chinese government and various forms of protests are taking place,” he added.  

Sangay took over as the political leader of the Tibetan cause in 2011 when the Dalai Lama -- a Nobel prize-winner who has long been accused by China of being a dangerous separatist -- pared back his roles. But Beijing has continued to resist calls by US President Barack Obama and other Western leaders to resume talks with Tibetan officials on autonomy that broke down four years ago.

“We advise these people to give up their attempts to separate Tibet from China,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular press briefing on Wednesday.

China has governed Tibet since 1951, a year after invading, and considers the Himalayan region an integral part of its territory which has prospered under its rule.                                         AFP

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