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Home > India > News > Report

Dalai Lama asks Tibetans not to disrupt torch relay

April 07, 2008 13:37 IST

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The Dalai Lama has called upon Tibetans to refrain from causing any hindrance to the Olympics torch relay or the Games.

In a statement issued in Dharamsala on Sunday, the spiritual leader said: "I feel the Tibetans should not cause any hindrance to the Games. It will be futile and not helpful to anyone if we do something that will create hatred in the minds of the Chinese people. Our struggle is with a few in the leadership of the People's Republic of China and not with the Chinese people. Therefore we should never cause misunderstanding or do something that will hurt the Chinese people."

"Even during this difficult situation, many Chinese intellectuals, writers and lawyers in mainland China and other parts of the world have sympathised with us and shown us their solidarity by issuing statements, writing articles and offering pledges of support. That is overwhelming," he added.

Reiterating his middle-way approach to resolving the Tibet row, the Dalai Lama said: "I am very much saddened and concerned by the use of arms to suppress the peaceful demonstrations of Tibetan people's aspirations that have resulted in unrest in Tibet, causing many deaths, and much more causalities, detention, and injury. I, however, feel helpless in the face of these tragic incidents."

The spiritual leader said the protests had 'shattered' Chinese propaganda that barring a few 'reactionaries', majority of Tibetans enjoy a prosperous life.

"The protests have made it very clear that Tibetans in the three provinces of Tibet, U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo, harbour the same aspirations and hopes. These protests have also conveyed to the world that the Tibet issue can no longer be neglected. These protests highlight the need to find a way to resolve the issue through finding truth from facts."

"The protests are an outburst of long pent-up physical and mental anguish of Tibetans and the feeling of deep resentment against the suppression of their rights."

Urging Tibetans to be non-violent and not fall prey to provocations, the Dalai Lama said: "We should not engage in any action that could be even remotely interpreted as violent. Even under the most provocative of situations we must not allow our most precious and deeply held values to be compromised."

"Presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, Nobel laureates, parliamentarians and concerned citizens from every part of the world have been sending clear and strong messages to the Chinese leadership to stop the present ongoing harsh crackdown against the Tibetans."

"Because of my moral obligation and responsibility to the Tibetan people, I have repeatedly asked the concerned leadership of the PRC to immediately stop their suppression in all parts of Tibet and withdraw its armed police and troops. If this brings result, I would also advise the Tibetans to stop all the current protests," he added.