China recently warned the organisers of the popular British music festival that inviting the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to visit would be viewed as an anti-China activity.
According to Reuters, the Dalai Lama will speak at the festival, but is not due to meet with anyone in the British government, who are no doubt weary of when diplomatic relations between the two countries were frozen after David Cameron met with him in 2012.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing that he was not aware of the details of what the Dalai Lama was doing at the Glastonbury Festival.
Lu said, however, that China’s position on the “international scuttling about of the 14th Dalai Lama to serve his political aims” is consistent. “China resolutely opposes any country, organization, body or individual giving any kind of platform to the 14th Dalai Lama to engage in anti-China splittist activities,” Lu said.
In an interview published on the Dalai Lama’s website, he said of his invitation to the festival:
If an invitation comes I am happy to accept it. I’m one of the 7 billion human beings alive today. And I believe we all have to make the welfare of our fellow human beings our concern. We are social animals; we all depend on each other. Whenever I get the opportunity, this is what I try to share with people.
When Asked if he would stay to watch the musical performances, he said that as a Buddhist monk, he is not permitted to do that, although, of course, he’ll be able to hear it.
The Glastonbury Festival, held on a dairy farm in southwest England, attracts a diverse mix of artists, speakers and performers, and retains many echoes of the hippy counter-culture movement that inspired its beginnings in the 1970s.
By Dominic Jackson