Karma Chophel denies saying Dalai Lama wants independence

 Karma Chophel is seen on the occasion of the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday

Member of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile Karma Chophel is seen on the occasion of the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday celebration at Tsuglakhang temple in McLeod Ganj, India, on 6 July 2013. File photo/Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

By Lobsang Wangyal

MCLEOD GANJ, India, 7 September 2013

Member of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile Karma Chophel denied making any statement that the Dalai Lama is covertly seeking independence for Tibet. The Dalai Lama, who relinquished political powers in 2011, has been working for autonomy through what he calls the “Middle-way” policy officially since 1987.

Chophel issued a press statement clarifying his position after the Dalai Lama mentioned his name twice recently, blaming Chophel for making baseless statements that are making him sound insincere.

According to sources, the Dalai Lama met with senior staff members of the Central Tibetan Administration on Tibetan Democracy Day, 2 September, at his residence. He is said to pointed out that he is upset with the viewpoints of a few people. Karma Chophel was one of the names the Dalai Lama mentioned.

In May during a visit to the US, the Dalai Lama lambasted Karma Chophel saying he was making him sound like a hypocrite. During a meeting with Tibetan youths in Madison, one youth asked the Dalai Lama about Karma Chophel’s statement in Tibetan Parliament in March.

The youth said he did not want to name the member of the exile Tibetan Parliament who made the statement that the Dalai Lama was advocating the “Middle-way” policy but from his heart was seeking Independence.

An agitated Dalai Lama said that there was no reason to hide the name of the MP and explicitly named Karma Chophel, and said that Chophel was making him sound insincere.

Karma Chophel made a statement in the Parliament in March during its 5th session, and withdrew the support that he had previously given in the Parliament to the Middle-Way policy.

He went on to say that the Dalai Lama may have proposed the Middle-way policy considering the urgent situation in Tibet, but Chophel thought that from his heart he longed for Tibetan Independence.

In the press release Chophel said that he will write a letter to the Dalai Lama that he never made such a statement.

He further stated that henceforth he will withdraw all the statements related to this issue, and will never speak on this issue in the future.

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