China strongly opposes Dalai Lama’s planned visit to Sri Lanka
DHARAMSALA, Jan 18: China has warned Sri Lanka in no uncertain terms that they strongly object to the Tibetan Spiritual leader the Dalai Lama’s planned visit to the island nation in the Indian Ocean.
Opposing the suggested visit by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to Sri Lanka, chargé d’affaires Hu Wei has told Sri Lanka that the island nation must safeguard the bilateral relationship, the PTI reported.
“The government and people of China, including in the Tibet autonomous region, strongly oppose any foreign country receiving the Dalai Lama in any name because the 14th Dalai Lama is absolutely not a simple monk as he self-claimed, but the head of the feudal serfdom,” the deputy of the Chinese ambassador in Sri Lanka has said in a statement, according to the report.
The report added citing a statement from the embassy that a top Chinese embassy official also met with the powerful Buddhist prelates in the central town of Kandy to express opposition to the visit for which no dates have been fixed yet.
According to the report, the Chinese embassy has further stated that the octogenarian Tibetan leader is in a “political exile disguised as a religious figure” and that he “has long been engaging in anti-China separatist activities and attempting to split Tibet from China.”
It was reported that China’s concerns stem from a meeting between several Sri Lankan Buddhist monks and the Tibetan Nobel Laureate at Bodh Gaya in India earlier this month during which the monks have extended the invitation to visit the island country to the Dalai Lama.
Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist nation, Theravada Buddhism is the largest and official religion of Sri Lanka, practised by 70.2% of the population as of 2012. The Dalai Lama has never visited the island nation in the Indian Ocean.