CHENNAI, India, 19 December 2016
In recent times, China appears to be closely monitoring the movements of the Dalai Lama, and has been protesting to every country which has received the Dalai Lama or given prominence to him.
It is strange that China, a large country with a huge population, strong economy, and mighty military power, is giving the impression that it is scared of the Dalai Lama, who is a frail elderly person with no military at his command and only possessing attributes of goodwill for everyone.
Even after six decades of occupying Tibet, China seems to be concerned that the independent spirit of Tibetans living in exile around the world continues to remain very high. China seems to be so scared of the Tibetan spirit that it opposes the visit of the Dalai Lama to any country in the world.
Due to objections from China and fearing China, Sri Lanka refused to give visa to the Dalai Lama, in spite of millions of Buddhists living in Sri Lanka. A few years back, US President Obama received the Dalai Lama through the back door of the White House to keep China in good humour.
Measures against defiant countries
The recent visit of the Dalai Lama to Mongolia was opposed by China, who caused a crisis to punish the defiant Mongolia. Mongolia’s crisis followed its reception of the Dalai Lama last month, triggering a slew of economic measures by China against Mongolia. Also China took exception to the statement by the Mongolian ambassador to India seeking India’s financial support to override Mongolia’s economic difficulties.
Now China has slammed India for inviting the Dalai Lama for a function in New Delhi where the Dalai Lama was present in the opening session of the Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit, organized by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s Children’s Foundation on 10 December.
In a strongly-worded response, China said “Recently in disregard of China’s solemn representation and strong opposition, the Indian side insisted on arranging for the 14th Dalai Lama’s visit to the India presidential palace and participation in the event with the Indian President and meeting with the President.” China asserted that it was strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed to that.
Moral power versus military power
When China invaded helpless and defenceless Tibet, thousands of Tibetans fled their motherland. Tibetan exiles are now living all over the world, mostly as refugees.
The Dalai Lama and refugee Tibetans living around the world follow the philosophy of Gautama Buddha, which essentially reflects peace and tranquility in their mindset, with malice for none. They are hoping that one day Tibet will once again become an independent country living up to its traditions and value systems.
The Dalai Lama and many thousands of Tibetan refugees living across the world now enjoy enormous moral power, as the world is conscious of the fact that great injustice has been done to Tibet by China.
The world is highly impressed by the quality of leadership provided by the Dalai Lama to Tibetans, which is symbolised by malice towards none and love for peace everywhere. It is remarkable that the Dalai Lama has not spoken disparagingly about China in any forum, in spite of the enormous sufferings inflicted on the Dalai Lama and Tibetans by China.
There is no doubt Tibet is hanging like a Damocle’s Sword over China. Chinese leadership wrongly thinks that world conscience can be silenced and the presence of the Tibetan refugees and the Dalai Lama can be hidden by forcing every country in the world to ignore the Dalai Lama.
It is obvious that the moral power of Tibet is gaining strength over the military and economic power of China. It remains to be seen as to how long China can retain its ill-gotten hold on Tibet.
About the author
NS Venkataraman is a chemical engineer as well as a social activist in Chennai, India. He is the founder trustee of Nandini Voice For The Deprived, a Chennai-based not-for-profit organisation serving the cause of the deprived and down-trodden and working for probity in public life.
More articles by NS Venkataraman on Tibet Sun.