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China imposes New Border Restrictions in Tibetan Border Regions as Dalai Lama Launches India Teaching Event

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FILE - Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is seen in an undated photo. VOA

China, Jan 4, 2017: China imposed new border restrictions in Tibetan border regions Sunday, citing risks from terrorism, but the new measures also come as Tibetan’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, begins a popular Buddhist teaching event in India.

The Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper reported Monday that the new measure is aimed at combating the risk of ‘terrorism’ and ‘separatism’ in the region. Critics say authorities frequently invoke such fears when imposing new security restrictions on Tibetans, and Tibetan exile news media say there are signs the measures are aimed more at preventing Tibetans from traveling than improving security.

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The new regulation was first announced in December by Tibet Daily, an official Tibetan language news outlet, which said it would take effect on January 1, 2017; however, the Tibetan language articles did not use the word terrorism as reason to make the restriction.

On December 15, Tibet Daily quoted Bagdro, the deputy head of Tibet border police force, as saying the “renewed” regulation focuses on restricting movements in border areas and stabilizing the region through economic and social development.

According to Tibet Post, a Dharamsala-based newspaper, the Chinese officials have confiscated passports of many Tibetans in Tibet in recent weeks.

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The Dalai Lama is beginning teachings known as the Kalachakra in Bodh Gaya, India on Tuesday. It is the spiritual leader’s most popular Buddhist teaching and is held at a holy site that’s believed to be where Buddha attained his enlightenment.

China has been showing particularly sensitivity to Tibetans from Tibet attending Kalachakra teachings in India by the Dalai Lama. According to Tibetan exile media reports, hundreds of Tibetans recently traveled to India, but the Chinese officials summoned them back to Tibet before the teaching began.

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In 2012, thousands of Tibetans were believed to have been detained upon returning from the Kalachakra teaching. Chinese officials did not reveal the number of detainees, but according to International Campaign for Tibet, about 8,000 people from Tibet had attended the teaching in that year.

Tightening controls in Tibetan border areas has long been backed by Chinese President Xi Jinping. In 2012, at the 18th Party Conference, Xi said, “To govern the nation, one must govern the borders; to govern the borders, we must first stabilize Tibet.” This statement has since been seen as the foundation of Xi’s Tibet policy. (VOA)

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‘Dalai Lama is a Political Figure under the cloak of Religion, Meeting or Hosting the Dalai Lama is a major offence’ Warns China

In April this year, China had reacted violently to a visit by the Dalai Lama to Tawang, in India’s northeast border state of Arunachal Pradesh, large parts of which is claimed by Beijing.

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The 14th Dalai Lama, Wikimedia

Beijing, October 21, 2017 : As US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson prepares to visit India next week, China on Saturday warned that it will be deeply offended if any foreign leader meets with or any country invites the Dalai Lama.

On the sidelines of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, a Chinese Minister dubbed the Tibetan spiritual leader as a “political figure under the cloak of religion”.

“Any country or any organisation or anyone accepting to meet with the Dalai Lama in our view is a major offence to the sentiment of the Chinese people,” said Zhang Yijiong, Executive Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).

“Also, since they have committed to recognising China as a sole legitimate government representing China, it contravenes their attempt, because it is a serious commitment,” Zhang added.

China accuses the Dalai Lama of stoking unrest and secessionist activities in Tibet from where the spiritual leader fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising.

The Dalai Lama has urged for more autonomy for Tibet.

Beijing opposes any country or leader keeping in touch with the Dalai Lama.

“I want to make it clear that the 14th Dalai Lama, the living Buddha handed down by history is a political figure under the cloak of religion,” said Zhang.

In February this year, Tillerson had told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing that he is committed to promoting dialogue on Tibet and receiving the Dalai Lama.

Top US Democrat Nancy Pelosi had visited the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, in May, and sought to draw the world’s attention to human rights in Tibet, triggering protests by China.

China resorts to different tactics if any country hosts the Dalai Lama. For instance, Beijing blocked a major highway leading to Mongolia, crippling the economy there after Ulan Bator hosted the leader late last year.

Mongolia later apologised and promised Beijing never to invite the Dalai Lama.

“Officials, in their capacity as officials, attending all foreign-related activities represent their governments. So I hope governments around the world speak and act with caution and give full consideration to their friendship with China and their respect for China’s sovereignty,” Zhang added.

The comments from the Chinese Minister also comes days after Tillersoon described India as a partner in a strategic relationship and said the US would “never have the same relationship with China, a non-democratic society”.

According to reports, last month China refused to fund travel for visiting scholars at University of California, San Diego, apparently in retaliation for inviting the Dalai Lama to be its 2017 commencement speaker.

In April this year, China had reacted violently to a visit by the Dalai Lama to Tawang, in India’s northeast border state of Arunachal Pradesh, large parts of which is claimed by Beijing. (IANS)

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Dalai Lama on Three Day Visit to Manipur

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Dalai Lama will be in Manipur on Tuesday. ians

Imphal, October 16: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will arrive here on Tuesday on a three-day visit to Manipur, officials said.

This will be his second trip to India’s northeast after his April visit to Arunachal Pradesh.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh told IANS on Monday that the government had declared the Dalai Lama a state guest.

“We will extend a warm welcome to him. He will be given all facilities as an honoured guest,” he said.

On Wednesday, the Dalai Lama will be given a public reception at the Convention Centre here. It will be followed by a felicitation programme at the same venue.

The Dalai Lama will interact with members of the public and dignitaries.

The Dalai Lama, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since fleeing his homeland in 1959, is coming to Manipur at the invitation of the Speaker of the Manipur Assembly.

His Arunachal Pradesh visit had sparked a diplomatic row between India and China.(IANS)

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Caste System is a form of Religious Discrimination, says His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The Caste system exists not only in India but other regions of the world as well

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Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. Wikimedia
  • The Dalai Lama has clearly stated that the practice of caste system is against religious beliefs of the individual
  • Speaking in Padum, Zanskar for the Avalokiteshvara, he urged the people to stop this practice
  • The caste system is a failed aspect of the feudal system in India, which no longer exists 

New Delhi, August 10, 2017: Speaking to his devotees at Padum, Zanskar for the Avalokiteshvara, His Holiness the Dalai Lama explained how caste system is a practice that discriminates against the individual’s religious beliefs.

The Dalai Lama also urged the people to stop using this practice. He explained that the practice of caste differentiation was an aspect of the feudal Indian society, which no longer prevails.

Caste system goes against religion. In fact, no religion in the world promotes or encourages caste differences.

ALSO READ: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama offers prayers for the victims of floods in Sri Lanka

The Tibetan spiritual leader reminded us that the feudal system was beaten by a democratic system. It is the high time people realize this.

He continued that just because one is from low class does not mean we should discriminate against them. No religion teaches that. Love is a common universal philosophy propagated by every religion. Gautam Budha was against discrimination 2,600 years before the caste system was even established!

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The spiritual leader went on to say that practicing caste system is an open declaration of being against the Buddha and Dalai Lama.

More than 10,000 people attended the talk at Photang Teaching Ground, with many visitors from different parts of Ladakh and Zanskar. The devotees of the Dalai Lama offered long life prayers afterward in a ceremony called Tenshug.

Caste system goes against religion, says Dalai Lama Click To Tweet

It is estimated that more than 260 million people all over the world suffer from caste discriminatory practices, the majority of these people being in South Asia. The Dalits from India are often cited as the most familiar example. But caste system also exists in the Middle East, Pacific, and African regions.

The discriminated caste is subjected to inhuman conditions of economics and politics. The Dalits, for example, live in severe poverty and are more commonly identified as ‘untouchables’ in India. The dirty and ‘looked-down-upon’ jobs are mostly given to the Dalits.

Even when it comes to distribution of wealth and access to resources, the Dalits are served last.

Thus, the Dalai Lama’s powerful words against caste system were much needed. The message of peace and harmony was important, especially coming from a popular spiritual leader- the Holiness himself.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394