Strive for autonomous Tibet: Dalai Lama

By R.K. Radhakrishnan, The Hindu, 5 August 2001

CHENNAI, AUG. 4. The younger generation of Tibetan refugees in India should get more involved in the efforts at achieving an autonomous Tibet, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, said today.

Most of you were born here in India. Now it is your responsibility to equip yourself to take part in the non-violent struggle, he reminded members of the Tibetan Refugees Welfare Association, Chennai, the Tibetan Students Association and the Friends of Tibet (South zone).

Nearly 200 Tibetans—mostly students and business persons—had gathered here to listen to the Dalai Lama from early afternoon. Quite a few of the younger students had seen the Nobel laureate only in pictures. It was a dream come true for them, as they sat patiently listening to the part-spiritual and part-political discourse of the 14th Dalai Lama.

Some Chinese think that the Dalai Lama is the problem. They believe that if the Dalai Lama passes away then the problems in Tibet would cease. But even if the Dalai Lama is not, there the struggle will be carried on by the Tibetan Government in exile, he said in Tibetan, which was translated by his Deputy Secretary, Mr.Tenzin N. Taklha.

I came to India when I was 24. Now I am 66. The struggle will take at least another generation or longer. I may not live that long. The most important thing is that this is not the struggle of one person, this is the struggle of a nation.

Mr. Taklha later explained that the Dalai Lama was increasingly delegating responsibility to the elected Government with a view to maintaining the tempo of the struggle after him. Earlier the Government was nominated by the Dalai Lama himself. This time even the senior minister was elected, he said.

The Dalai Lama was in Chennai to attend a conference organised by the Akhil Bharat Rachanatmak Sangh. Asked whether he was aware of the participation by the All Party Hurriyat Conference in the peace conference, the Dalai Lama said I have no idea about the Hurriyat, he said.

To another question, he said every effort should be made to promote mutual trust. Without trust, it is very difficult to solve anything. Therefore everyone must come together and talk, he added.

Earlier, the Dalai Lama arrived here from Bangalore amid tight security.