Dalai Lama threatens to quit over Tibet violence - Emirates24|7

Dalai Lama threatens to quit over Tibet violence


The Dalai Lama on Tuesday reiterated a pledge to resign as spokesman for the Tibetan people if there are more violent anti-Chinese protests in his homeland, other parts of China or elsewhere.

"If the violent demonstrations continue, I would resign," the exiled Buddhist leader said in the Indian capital, where he was conducting a week of meditation workshops.

"I think inside or outside China, if the demonstrators utilise violent methods, I am totally against it," the Dalai Lama added.

Last week the spiritual leader, who has been based in the northern Indian town of Dharamshala since a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, issued a similar warning.

"I have always made it clear the expression of deep emotion should be in control," the Dalai Lama, who has repeatedly stressed he wants "meaningful automony" for his homeland rather than outright independence, said on Tuesday.

The Buddhist leader has denied Chinese charges of fomenting the unrest in his homeland and elsewhere, which has cast a shadow over the August 8-24 Olympic Games which Beijing hopes will be a showpiece for the nation.

The Dalai Lama added that he had "always respected the Chinese people... Chinese communism."

"Even most of the Tibetan protesters are ideologically communists," he told reporters after a meeting with supporters.

The statement came as China on Tuesday denounced attempts to disrupt the Olympic torch relay in Greece as "shameful" after protests at the ceremony to light the flame added to pressure over its handling of ongoing unrest in Tibet.

With Tibetan exiles putting the death toll from two weeks of unrest at around 140, protesters condemning China's human rights record briefly disrupted the flame ceremony as it was broadcast live around the world.

China says 18 civilians and one police officer were killed in Lhasa since protests began in the Tibetan capital following the March 10 anniversary of a uprising against Chinese rule. Another policeman was killed in southwest China.

Last weekend, the Dalai Lama said China - as the world's most populous nation - "deserves to hold the Games" and that the Chinese people need to "feel proud" of the event.

Asked by reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday about the future course of action to promote Tibetan rights in his homeland, the Dalai Lama said: "Just wait".

The Dalai Lama is due to be in New Delhi until Friday to teach the "Practice and Stages of Meditation and not to take part in any political events, said spokesman Tempa Tsering.  (AFP)

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