Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama Wednesday emphatically said India has never used him against China, remarks that came amid loud protests by Beijing against his ongoing visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
The Dalai also urged China to give Tibet meaningful “self-rule” and “autonomy.”
The remarks by the 81-year-old Nobel Laureate came on a day when China alleged that India in disregard to its concerns “obstinately” arranged his visit to the “disputed part” of the eastern part of China-India border, causing “serious damage” to its interests and bilateral relations.
“India has never used me against China. I am a messenger of the ancient Indian thought and I talk about ahimsa, peace, harmony and secular ethics wherever I go,” he said talking to reporters here on the second day of his week-long visit to the remote north-eastern state.
His remarks also came against the backdrop of criticism by the Chinese state media that India is using the Dalai Lama as a diplomatic leverage to challenge China’s “bottom line.”
Unfazed by Beijing’s objections to his visit to Arunachal Pradesh, the Dalai said, “Many Chinese love India, but there are some narrow minded politicians as I have mentioned, they consider me as a demon.”
Articulating the Tibetan stand, the Dalai said, “We are not seeking independence. We are willing to remain within the People’s Republic of China.”
“I always admire the spirit of the European Union.
Individual nations’ sovereignty is important but that’s not so important. What is important is the common interest.
“So for material development to remain with the People’s Republic of China is in our interest. So, the Chinese government also should feel ok. At the same time the Chinese government should give us meaningful self-role, autonomy,” he said.
The Dalai thanked Indian government for letting him visit the frontier state.