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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."

Potala Palace preserves memories but shuns 14th Dalai Lama

April 8, 2009

Achinta Borah
Press Trust of India
April 7, 2009

Lhasa, Apr 7 (PTI) -- The majestic Potala Palace,
the erstwhile seat of the Dalai Lamas, boasts of
every memorabilia of the Tibetan spiritual
leadership except those associated with the 14th
Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India.

The centuries-old monument, now a world heritage,
has the prayer hall where the 14th Dalai Lama
used to pray before he fled the city in 1959. The
picture of his predecessor the 13th Dalai Lama
and the 10th Panchen Lama, adorn the prayer hall,
but none among the 77 monks who live in the 12th
storeyed building talk about the current Dalai Lama.

"Nobody thinks about him," Director of Potala
Palace Chamla Kalsang claimed when asked whether
the Tibetans miss the Dalai Lama, who lives in
Dharamsala heading the Tibetan government in exile.

The room, where the Dalai Lama used to study, the
bed room and the place where he used to meet his
followers are being kept in proper shape but nobody now uses them.

"We have to take good care of Potala Palace as
this is our culture and history besides being a
world heritage site. It has nothing to do with
the Dalai Lama or his staying here or in somewhere else," Kalsang asserted.

The chapel, where the Dalai Lama use to pay
homage to the protector deities, the 'Chimey
Namgyal' where he had spent most of his time
during his stay here and the 'Jamkang' (the
maitreya Buddhist chapel) are also being kept
well with traditional lamp being light everyday. PTI
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