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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Hindi-Chini bhai bhai: Dalai Lama

November 14, 2007

Press Trust of India
Saturday, November 3, 2007 (New Delhi)

Maintaining that resolution of Tibetan issue was vital for betterment 
of Indo-China ties, the Dalai Lama on Saturday favoured ''genuine 
friendship'' between the two Asian giants, rekindling the 'Hindi-
Chini bhai bhai' spirit.

Addressing a function from which all Union Ministers kept away, the 
Tibetan spiritual leader attacked the Chinese government for 
continuing the policy of ''suppression'' in Tibet and warned that use 
of ''gun'' and ''force'' would only spew ''more resentment and anger''.

''Resolution of issue of Tibet is relevant for India-China 
relationship. I really wish to see a genuine friendship between India 
and China,'' he said after being felicitated by some NGOs and 
religious leaders in New Delhi.

''I want to see the rekindling of the spirit of Hindi-Chini bhai 
bhai,'' said the Dalai Lama who just returned from a visit to the US.

Making it clear that he did not aspire to hold any ''political 
position'' if a local Tibetan government is formed, he quipped that 
he was already in the ''semi-retirement'' phase and would contribute 
to the Tibetan cause as a ''senior adviser''.

Union Ministers kept away from the function following an advisory by 
the Cabinet Secretariat, apparently not to ruffle feathers in China, 
which had voiced strong objection to the US honouring the Tibetan 
leader recently.

Lashing out at China for following the ''policy of suppression'' in 
Tibet, the Dalai Lama said ''genuine harmony should come from the 
heart and not from the gun''.

The Dalai Lama also voiced his concern over the ''demographic 
aggression'' of the Chinese in Tibet. ''Out of the 3,00,000 people 
now residing in Lhasa, 2,00,000 are of Chinese-origin''.

Chinese authorities are also trying to prevent Tibetan students from 
taking lessons in Tibetan, saying that learning the language would be 
of no use, he said.

''There is a degeneration of the Tibetan way of life and cultural 
genocide is on the rise in various institutions and monasteries,'' he 

Tibetan customs

He, however, said ''we in India are being able to practice the 
Tibetan customs in a better way.

''I lost freedom at the age of 16 and my country when I was 24. India 
turned out to be a pleasant home for a homeless person like me,'' the 
Tibetan spiritual leader said.

The Dalai Lama said that presently he is following a three-point 
commitment - promotion of human values of compassion and tolerance, 
promotion of religious harmony and carrying out his ''moral 
responsibility'' towards Tibet.

Recalling his long-time association with India and its leaders, the 
Dalai Lama said, ''historically Tibet is the ''chela'' (student) of 
India and that he considers himself a ''messenger of India's ancient 

''I also carry the message of secularism. Some people say the word 
relates to rejection of religion, but I feel in Indian context which 
means respect to all religions,'' he said.

In this context, he said religious and administrative institutions 
should be separate. ''Politicians sometimes try to manipulate in the 
name of religion. Religion should be above politics,'' the Tibetan 
spiritual leader observed.

Speaking at the function organised by Gandhi Peace Foundation and All 
Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet, former Prime Minister I K 
Gujral said the inscription on the Congressional medal presented to 
the Dalai Lama ''embodies Gandhian principles'' and thanked the US 
Congress on behalf of the nation for honouring the leader.
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