Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022

Dalai Lama Says Would Stay In India’s Dharamshala For Entire Life

The Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said he has no plans to return to Tibet, since there was complete freedom for him in India.

Tibetian spiritual leader Dalai Lama.(File photo) PTI

Tibetan Spiritual leader Dalai Lama has announced that he would stay at Dharamshala for the rest of his life and have no plans to return to Tibet.

“I have lived here in Dharamsala in the Kangra Valley for several decades now. I enjoy it. I can communicate with everyone from here wherever they are. I’m free. Some years ago, I told former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh that I’d like to remain here for the rest of my life because here I have complete freedom,” he said.

The Tibetan spiritual leader was speaking at an interactive session organised by the Foreign Correspondents` Club of Japan (FCCJ) on ‘Cultivating a Good Heart’ on a virtual platform.

Ever since Covid-19 pandemic , Dalai Lama has not moved out of his abode at McLeodganj –a beautiful Himalayan town in Himachal Pradesh ,now also seat of the exiled government—Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

In 1959, following the brutal suppression of the Tibetan national uprising in Lhasa by Chinese troops, the Dalai Lama was forced to escape into exile and since then he has been living in Dharamsala, northern India.

To a specific question about his stay at Dharamshala and wouldn’t he prefer to live in Tibet , Dalai Lama said he loved this place “too much”.

“It has snow capped mountains ,valleys, lakes and beautiful forests,” he said.

The statement is significant in the light of Tibetans struggle for homeland and also a recent offer from Beijing that it was open to talks with Dalai Lama about his “future” but not on issues related to Tibet.

Tibetan Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama has preferred to stay in India praising the country and its leaders for “ as centre of religious harmony “

When asked about chances of his meeting Xi Jinping.

“No specific plan.However, for several years I’ve expressed a desire to visit Wu Tai-shan on pilgrimage. If I were able to do that, I could stop off in Beijing to meet with Chinese leaders. In addition, I’d like to be able to call on old Chinese friends, former officials and military officers. I’m getting older and they are ageing too, so I’d like to see how they’re getting on,” he said.

He declined to comment on Xi Jinping seeking a third term in office.

An Arabic correspondent asked Dalai Lama whether he would to visit Mecca, the holiest place in the Islamic world.

“I’m keen to make such a pilgrimage,” His Holiness told him, “as part of my efforts to promote inter-religious harmony. If the opportunity should arise, I’d be happy to take it. In the past, here in India, I’ve visited different places of worship. These included the Jama Masjid in Delhi, where I put on the traditional white cap, the ‘topi’ or ‘taqiyah’ and joined in the prayers.”