Dalai Lama a symbol of peace: Dhumal

September 2nd, 2011 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, Sep 2 (IANS) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is a symbol of peace, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said Friday.

“His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a symbol of peace for which he has also been conferred the Nobel Peace Prize,” Dhumal said while presiding over a function here to mark the 51st Tibetan democracy day.

“The people of the state are proud of having the Dalai Lama with them in Dharamsala which has turned into an international spiritual destination for the Buddhist devotees,” he said.

While the Dalai Lama gave up his “formal authority” as the political leader of the Tibetan exiles in May, the chief minister supported his decision of continuing to head them spiritually.

“This would go a long way in fulfilling the cherished dream of the Tibetans and also be source of inspiration for the humanity,” he said.

Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile Lobsang Sangay and Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament Penpa Tsering were among those present at the function.

Meanwhile, a statement of the parliament-in-exile appealed to China to change its hard-line policy on Tibet.

Tibet has been seeking greater autonomy from China. The Dalai Lama, along with many of his supporters, fled Tibet and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa, now the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, in 1959.

“We strongly appeal to the Chinese leaders to change its hard-line policy on Tibet, and not to forcefully change the traditional lifestyles of Tibetan nomads and farmers and to give complete religious freedom,” said the statement.

The basic aspiration of the Tibetans, both in and outside Tibet, is to resolve the issue of Tibet, it said.

“However, due to circumstances that are beyond our reach, if it takes a long time to regain our freedom, we should be well prepared for such an eventuality,” it added.

The Dalai Lama has been heading a Tibetan government-in-exile which has never won recognition from any country.

India is home to around 100,000 Tibetans.

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