Dalai Lama prays for success of Beijing Olympics

August 6th, 2008 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is praying for the success of the Beijing Olympic Games beginning Aug 8 and has offered his greetings to China, the organizers and the participating athletes, a statement said Tuesday. “Right from the time of China’s application to hold the Olympic Games I have supported China’s right to host the Games,” a statement issued by the Dalai Lama’s office quoted him as saying.

“This is a moment of great pride to the 1.3 billion Chinese people. These Games should contribute to promoting the Olympic spirit of friendship, openness and peace,” he said.

The Dalai Lama’s statement, two days before the inaugural ceremony of the Beijing Games, is seen as an attempt on his part to distance himself from any possible move to disrupt the Games over the Tibetan issue, apart from sending his good wishes.

“I would like to offer my greetings to the People’s Republic of china, the organizers and the athletes participating in the forthcoming Olympic Games in Beijing,” he said.

The Dalai Lama’s statement may also be aimed at ensuring that the dialogue between his representatives and the Chinese government continues even after the Beijing Olympics to find a peaceful, permanent and mutually satisfying solution to the Tibet issue.

The last round of talks between the two sides held in early July failed to make much progress and this led some Tibetan supporters to comment on whether China was at all interested in a positive outcome of the dialogue.

The two sides are likely to hold talks once again in October.

Incidentally, Tibetans living in exile in India are expected to turn out in large numbers for a protest march in Delhi against the Beijing Olympics a day ahead of the inaugural ceremony to highlight the oppression of Tibetans in Tibet.

Around 100,000 Tibetans live across India. The Tibetan government-in-exile, not recognised by any country, has been based in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh ever since the Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959.

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