Leaving Tibet in 1959 was the right decision: Dalai Lama

March 10th, 2009 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

By Jaideep Sarin
Dharamsala, March 10 (IANS) Having lived in exile for half a century with thousands of his Tibetan followers, Tibetan spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tuesday said leaving Tibet in March 1959 was the “right decision”.

Addressing the media at the Tsuglag Khang or main temple complex here on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the March 10, 1959 Tibetan uprising that was crushed by Chinese forces, forcing him to escape into India, the Dalai Lama said he did not ever think his decision was wrong.

“No, I don’t think it was a wrong decision. Not at all. I constantly look back at the experience of the last 50 years. I always feel that it is the right decision,” the Tibetan leader, who resides at his Himalayan abode-in-exile at Mcleodganj near here, said emphatically.

“I am happy to see so many media in support of our cause for Tibet,” he said.

The Dalai Lama sought to put the blame of the 1959 crisis on China and the continuing stalemate on the future of Tibet.

“If China had continued with the 17-point agreement (between Chinese and Tibetan leaders), the 1959 crisis should not have happened,” he said.

Taking on the statements against him by Chinese leaders, the Dalai Lama said that the Communist leadership either seemed “ignorant of facts” or were “telling a lie”. He was referring to a recent statement by the Chinese foreign minister saying that in the garb of autonomy, the Dalai Lama actually wanted Chinese forces and people to leave the territory he was claiming.

“Please ask them to tell me when I made this statement,” the Dalai Lama said.

While pointing out to the repression let loose on Tibetans inside Tibet, especially after violent incident March last year, he urged Tibetans there to restrain themselves from such crisis.

“This is what the Chinese want so that they can crack down on Tibetans,” he said.

The Tibetan leader denied it was the exiled leadership that was internationalizing the Tibet issue. “The Tibet issue has not been internationalized by us but due to the Chinese propaganda against us. We must be grateful to the Chinese government for doing this,” he added.

The Dalai Lama urged Chinese President Hu Jintao to use scientific ways to bring a harmonious society in China and Tibet.

“I have said it earlier that my trust in the Chinese leadership is getting thinner and thinner but my faith in the Chinese people is total. We Tibetans are not against the Chinese people,” he said.

He said that China totally rejected a memorandum of genuine autonomy submitted by his envoys to them October last year saying that it was “disguised independence”.

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