Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dalai Lama may step down....

The Washington Post reports:

Dalai Lama Airs Prospect of Quitting
Exiled Spiritual Leader Says Further Violent Protests in Tibet Would Leave Him No Other Option

By Rama Lakshmi
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, March 19, 2008; A09

DHARMSALA, India, March 18 -- Reacting to a week of sometimes bloody protests in Tibet, the Dalai Lama said Tuesday that he would resign as spiritual head of the Tibetan government-in-exile if the violence spun out of control. At the same time, the revered religious figure vehemently denied Chinese accusations that he was organizing the riots.

"If things become out of control, then my only option is to completely resign," the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace laureate and the exiled leader of millions of Tibetans around the world, told reporters. As he spoke, the narrow, winding streets of this Himalayan town were filled with hundreds of angry youths, monks and nuns, marching and chanting, "Long live Dalai Lama!"

The prime minister of the government-in-exile, Samdhong Rinpoche, quickly sought to play down his leader's statement. "I don't think he has said those words without any qualification or context," Rinpoche said at a news conference. "The Dalai Lama has always said, over and over again, that if the Tibetan people resort to violence, he would not be able to lead the people and be their spiritual leader."

"The Tibetan people's commitment to nonviolence remains, and there is no question of his resignation," Rinpoche added.

The Dalai Lama reacted angrily to the statements by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao blaming him for engineering riots in Tibet that have left scores of people dead. The Tibetan leader, who fled China for India in 1959, said that he was open to scrutiny by any international body. (for more click here)

I was in Dharmsala 18 months ago and must say that I became much more aware, and depressed, about the situation in Tibet than I had ever been before. Dorks like Richard Gere are often associated with this tragedy, which means, for many, the coolness has been removed from the issue. I have been to over 35 countries and I have to say, the Tibetan exiles I met were without a doubt among the most beautiful and passionate people I have met in my life. I hate the fact that China has raped them of their culture, their identity, and their land-- yet, for the most part, the Tibetan spirit is intact.

I hope the Dalai Lama hangs in their, and that he gets his country back...

1 comment:

the seesta said...

It's amazing that some of the most peaceful people on earth have been the victims of so much continual brutality for so long. In front of the entire world the Chinese government continue to strip the Tibetan people of their liberty. It reminds me of the Burmese government. All of these notorious military dictatorships that brutalize Buddhist monks and their families. This is a huge part of our human legacy as it has happened all throughout human history. I certainly hope that his Holiness won't step down. I can't imagine that he would.