China aims to annihilate Buddhism: Dalai

DHARMASALA: The Dalai Lama blasted Chinese authorities today, accusing them of trying to “annihilate Buddhism” in Tibet as he commemorated a failed uprising against China’s rule over the region.

The Tibetan spiritual leader’s angry comments appeared to signal his frustration with fruitless efforts to negotiate a compromise with China. However, he said he would not abandon talks.

Beijing has demonised the Dalai Lama and accused him of fighting for independence for Tibet, which China says is part of its territory. The Dalai Lama says he only wants some form of autonomy for Tibet within China that would allow his people to freely practice their culture, language and religion.

The dispute turned violent two years ago, when anti-government protests erupted in Tibet and China cracked down on the region. Now, Tibet is flooded by Chinese soldiers patrolling the streets.

In his annual address from exile in India marking the 51st anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against China, the Dalai Lama said Chinese authorities were conducting a campaign of “patriotic re-education” in monasteries in Tibet.

“They are putting the monks and nuns in prison-like conditions, depriving them the opportunity to study and practice in peace,” he said, accusing Chinese of working to “deliberately annihilate Buddhism.” The Tibetan leader said, “Whether the Chinese government acknowledges it or not, there is a serious problem in Tibet, but attempts to talk to the Chinese leadership about granting limited autonomy to the Tibetan people had gone nowhere.” “Judging by the attitude of the present Chinese leadership, there is little hope that a result will be achieved soon. Nevertheless, our stand to continue with the dialogue remains unchanged,” he added.