Dalai Lama plays down possibility of China-India military ‘conflict’

| | New Delhi

The Dalai Lama on Thursday played down the possibility of a China-India military “conflict”, stating that the situation inside Tibet mitigates such an eventuality.

The 82-year-old spiritual leader said Tibet will weigh on China’s mind in the event of any conflict and for it, handling both simultaneously would not be an “easy” task.

The statement comes days after China’s strong reaction against his visit to Arunachal Pradesh. The Dalai Lama had on April 4 visited Tawang, which is also the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, on an invitation from Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, who met the spiritual leader along with his cabinet colleagues in New Delhi on October 9 last year.

Speaking at the Prof ML Sondhi Prize for International Politics 2016 here, which he received the prize as well, said that there is a totalitarian regime in China which one day could face the same fate of once a mighty Soviet Union. He further said even though he might not achieve a peaceful solution to the Tibtan issue which is ‘complicated’, the younger generation could bring a change in the mindset of Chinese leaders.

When asked by this reporter about the renaming of six places in Arunachal Pradesh by Chinese Government recently, the 14th Dalai Lama said, “They (the Chinese) could not pronounce them properly.”

He said, “I asked Indian authorities concerned before the visit and they said go ahead...Some reaction from the Chinese side was really unusual.”

“India is not a small country. It is gaining military power. So the only thing is compromise. The Chinese have to think about the situation inside Tibet when it comes to conflict with India,” he said, responding to a question.

He stressed the need to differentiate between the Chinese people and the Communist establishment of the country, which he described as a “totalitarian” dispensation that has “failed to crush the Tibetan spirit”. He said every week many Chinese retired officers and students have visited him and have expressed their genuine desire of peace in the Tibetan region. The Chinese people will be able to judge the situation if they are made aware of the “reality” of the Tibet dispute.





Asked about the 11th Panchen Lama, chosen by him, he said, “Some say he is no longer there. Some say he is alive.” Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, a six-year old boy recognised by the Dalai Lama in 1995 as the 11th Panchen Lama of Tibet has been missing for over 22 years.

Declaring his case as an “enforced disappearance”, the United Nations’ Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances had in April 2011 held China responsible for his disappearance. China has denied any involvement in his disappearance.

The programme was organized the Prof ML Sondhi Memorial Trust and the ML Sondhi Institute for Asia-Pacific Affairs. Prof L Sondhi Memorial Trust was established to promote late Prof Sondhi’s vision relating to the emergence of India as a strong but benign power in the family of nations; to promote research and studies on  aspects of international relations. ML Sondhi Institute for Asia-Pacific Affairs is an independent think tank established by the late Prof Manohar Lal Sondhi in 2002. It studies the historic emergence of the Asia-Pacific region in the twenty-first century, and aims to provide a realists understanding of key political, security, economic, and cultural issues confronting the region from an Indian perspective.

Senior journalist Arun Shourie, Madhuri Santanam Sondhi, Trustee, Vivekananda L Sondhi, Trustee, and Lalt Mansingh, Trustee also spoke on the occasion.



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