New Delhi: The Tibetan issue is no longer a struggle for political independence, the Dalai Lama has said, even as he asserted that there is a need to focus on the preservation of Tibet’s cultural, religious and linguistic identity.
Political independence is mainly meant for the happiness of the people, but does it alone guarantee happiness, the Tibetan spiritual leader asked.
“There is a growing feeling among the top leaders in China that their policies have not been able to solve the Tibet issue in the last 70 years. So they should follow a more realistic approach. Even though Tibet was an independent country, politically China occupies Tibet today,” he told news magazine ‘The Week’ in an interview.
“Under the given circumstances, I have been saying for some time now that there is a need to focus on the preservation of Tibetan culture, religion and identity. It is no longer a struggle for political independence,” he said.
The 14th Dalai Lama left Tibet in 1959 to escape Chinese occupation and has been keeping China on tenterhooks about his successor.
In the interview, given in Himachal Pradesh’s McLeodganj, the Dalai Lama also said as long as the Tibetan people can preserve their thousands of years old cultural heritage, religion and identity, it will bring them inner peace and happiness.
“For this, I really admire the Indian Union for its unity in diversity. In a similar way, the People’s Republic of China and Tibet can coexist keeping Tibet’s cultural, linguistic and religious identity,” he said.
This is not the first time the Dalai Lama has made such a statement. In November 2017, he had said Tibet did not seek independence from China but wanted greater development!
China and Tibet enjoyed a close relationship, though there were occasional “fights”, he said at an interactive session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.
“The past is the past. We will have to look into the future,” he said. He stressed that Tibetans wanted to stay with China.
“We are not seeking independence, We want to stay with China. We want more development,” the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people said.