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China worried Dalai Lama might seek Indian citizenship

January 26, 2010

The Economic Times
January 25, 2010

BEIJING -- The provincial government of Tibetan
autonomous region has come out with a statement
that reveals a hidden worry among Chinese officials
that the Dalai Lama might actually seek Indian citizenship.

The state-run China Tibet Information Centre has
said that the Dalai Lama's recent statement
describing himself as "son of India" show he has
become subservient to his "Indian masters" while
trying to deny his Chinese citizenship.

This is a rare occasion when an official organ
has described him as a Chinese citizen, something
that the Dalai Lama hardly ever talks about.

"In fact, another reason why the Tibetan calls
himself a "son of India" is that he intends to
deny his Chinese citizenship," the Centre said in
an article pasted on its web site.

Chinese leaders have been worried that the next
incarnation of the Dalai Lama will take place
outside China and far from its control. But this
is the first time that the government has
betrayed its worries that the Tibetan leader
might actually change his citizenship.

The article pointed out that an Indian
businessman, Bhupendra Kumar Modi, had claimed
that the Dalai Lama would try to obtain Indian
nationality if the conditions were right.

"Later, the Dalai Lama's remarks and actions bore
out Modi's words," the article, which is also
circulated by the state-run People's Daily, said.

It accused the Tibetan leader for giving away
Arunachal Pradesh, which it describes as "south
Tibet", to India. The Dalai Lama had kissed the
ground last year "to win the heart of India in
addition to his intensive lobbying around the world," it said.

"The Dalai Lama pleases his Indian masters not
only by showing his willingness to be a "son of
India," but also by effacing the originality of
the Tibetan culture. The Dalai Lama uses such
words to dwarf the rich Tibetan culture with
distinctive local characteristics. He could not be more subservient," it said.

The article says two earlier Dalai Lamas, the 7th
and 8th, were approved by Chinese emperors. The
allusion is meant to remind him that the
government at the center will be the final
decision maker when it comes to approving the
next incarnation. Beijing issued rules two years
back saying that all Living Buddhas including the
Dalai Lama will need to be approved by it.
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