Image credit: @janmichaelihl.
Dalai Lama? More like Dalai Lame-a, am I right? Tibetans don’t want their exiled spiritual leader to return, a senior Chinese official has told visiting Indian and Nepalese reporters.
Cui Yuying, deputy director of the State Council Information Office, told journalists that average Tibetan’s “don’t agree with [the Dalai Lama’s] political ideology”, according to the Kathmandu Post.
The Dalai Lama was only respected as a religious leader, a position that “was conferred by the central government” in Beijing, Cui added.
According to the Press Trust of India, Cui, an
uncle tom ethnic Tibetan, said Beijing was confident that the Indian government “will not allow the Dalai Lama to indulge in any political activity”.
Cui, who once headed the Communist Party’s publicity department in the Tibetan autonomous region, claimed that exiled Tibetans (who aren’t the Dalai Lama) are welcome to return to Chinese-controlled Tibet. “Tibetans are returning to Tibet from India,” she said.
At the SCMP, Patrick Boehler challenges this point:
According to the United Nationals High Commissioner for Refugees’ Office in Nepal, some 800 Tibetans continue to sneak from China through Nepal to India every year.
There, they join some 94,000 refugees already living in Tibetan communities, according to a 2010 estimate by the government-in-exile in Dharamsala.
Sino-Indian relations are at their tensest in years, after the two countries kind of, almost, not really went to war this month.