NEW DELHI - After being ditched by New Delhi the Dalai Lama has said, Tibet can remain a part of China, if Beijing guarantees the region’s culture and autonomy.
Tibet could benefit economically by staying in China and Chinese citizens could gain from Tibetan Buddhism, he said in a lecture to commemorate the 60th anniversary of his exile to India. “Historically and culturally, Tibet has been independent. The region’s geography shows where Tibet begins.
So long as the constitution of China recognises our culture and Tibetan autonomous region’s special history, they can remain [part of China],” he said in the lecture organised by the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and the Antar-Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad.
The lecture is one of the events planned to celebrate the anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s arrival in India in the late 1950s. The celebrations began earlier this month with a big event at Dharamsala. The Dalai Lama is likely to tour India throughout the year.
However, the Dalai Lama underscored the importance of Tibetan identity and argued that Tibet had been an independent unit in the past, and therefore had a special place in the world. The times had changed, he said, and economic cooperation was the more rational option.
“There was a time when every French looked at the Germans as enemies. But today they are in the European Union. Similarly, we can work together,” he said.
His remarks are significant as he avoided mentioning Tibetan independence and explained how cooperation and unity could usher in development and peace. The statements are also expected to set the background for the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who will have an informal summit on April 27 and 28, the first meeting since China removed the term-limit for the post of President.