Visit China to know plight of Tibetans: Dalai Lama

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 31, 2009 12:00 hrs

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama Saturday asked the international community to visit Tibet to know the plight of the Tibetans.

'I strongly appeal to the international community, especially to the media, to go to China and Tibet and investigate the reality of the situation,' the spiritual leader told reporters in Japan, according to a post on the website of the Tibetan government-in-exile here.

He had started his nine-day visit to Japan Friday at the invitation of Shikoku Buddhist Association and Okinawa Mahabodhi Association.

'If you find out that what Chinese government is saying about Tibet is correct, then I will cease all my activities and apologise to them,' the Dalai Lama told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

To a question regarding the controversy surrounding his planned visit to India's north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, the Nobel Peace laureate expressed his surprise at China's objections.

'In 1962 during the India-China war, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) already occupied all these areas but they announced a unilateral ceasefire and withdrew, accepting the current international boundary,' he said.

He also recollected his deep emotional attachment with Arunachal Pradesh, as it was the place where he entered India after his escape from Tibet in 1959, bringing him much relief from the fearful journey.

Dismissing the constant objections from the Chinese government during his frequent visits outside his home in exile in India, the Dalai Lama said that all his visits are 'non-political in nature'.

While extolling Chinese President Hu Jintao's call for building a harmonious society, the Buddhist monk said that harmony cannot come from the 'guns of PLA' but only from trust and faith.

The Dalai Lama has been following a 'middle-path' policy that seeks greater autonomy for Tibetans rather than complete independence. However, he has increasingly voiced his frustration with the situation and has said that he has now given up trying to win concessions from Beijing.

However, the Chinese view him as a hostile person bent on splitting Tibet from China. Beijing frowns upon meetings between the Dalai Lama and foreign leaders.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing China in 1959 after a failed uprising against Communist rule over Tibet. His government-in-exile is not recognised by any country.

More from Sify: