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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

"The basic issue is about the well-being of six million Tibetans." His Holiness

November 13, 2009

YC. Dhardhowa, (Editor)
The Tibet Post International
November 10, 2009

His Holiness said his visit to Tawang was not
political but religious and spiritual, urged
China to honour the rights of six million
Tibetans worldwide Buddhist devotees young and
old waited for a glimpse of Tibetan spiritual and
political leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama at a
polo ground near the remote Tawang monastery in
the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal
Pradesh yesterday. Over 30,000 people, some of
whom had camped out for days beforehand, heard
the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader’s call for
compassion and peace around the world.

The 74-year-old Nobel laureate insisted that his
visit to the area, ownership of which has long
been claimed by India and China, was
non-political after Chinese officials accused him
of seeking to stir up tensions between New Delhi and Beijing.

Indian Buddhist region Mon Tawang holds memories
for His Holiness the Dalai Lama: he first sought
refuge there when fleeing Tibet after a failed
uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. "There are
a lot of emotions involved,” he said. “When I
escaped from Tibet, I was mentally and physically very weak.”

His Holiness who arrived here Yesterday to a
rousing welcome, took a swipe at Chinese
government for objecting to his visit to Indian
state Arunachal Pradesh and said he was
"surprised" over Chinese claims on Tawang.

His Holiness said his visit to Tawang was not
political but religious and spiritual, urged
China to honour the rights of six million
Tibetans worldwide. "The basic issue is not about
my going back (to Tibet). It is about the
well-being of six million Tibetans,” he told
reporters at the Mon Tawang Monastery.

On Chinese objections to his visit to the Indian
state, he said: "It is quite usual for China to
step up campaigning against me wherever I go." He
recalled how he came to Tawang 50 years ago while fleeing from the Chinese.

He said the PLA occupied Tawang during the 1962
war. "But the then Chinese government declared a
unilateral ceasefire and withdrew. Now the
Chinese have got different views. This is
something which I really don’t know. I am a
little bit surprised,” he said in an apparent
reference to Chinese claims over Tawang.

He said China first established contact with him
in the early part of 1980. "The Chinese offered
to send an official to Delhi to take me back, but
I refused." China re-established contact in 1993,
he said, but there was no headway. “We renewed
direct contact again in 2002 with Beijing making
a fresh offer. I told them the issue was not of
my return but that of the well-being of six million Tibetans ,” he said.

Tensions over the disputed Himalayan border, the
trigger for a brief but bloody war between India
and China in 1962, have risen in recent months,
with reports of troop movements on both sides.
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