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China warns world against Dalai Lama

March 8, 2009

March 7, 2009

Dharamsala, March 7, 2009 - China warned nations against hosting the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama on their territories ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising and a year since last year’s uprising of March 14.

Chinese foreign minister, Yang Jeichi, accused the exile leader of plotting to separate China, saying, "In developing relations with China, other countries should not allow the Dalai Lama to visit their countries and should not allow their territories to be used for the Dalai Lama to engage in separatist activities for Tibet's independence."

Yang also said that the Dalai Lama is "by no means a religious figure, but a political figure."

Yang was speaking today at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual meeting of parliament in Beijing.

However, the Tibetan leader who is respected and admired widely in the world says he is seeking a genuine autonomy for the restive Himalayan region and not independence as accused by China.

The 73 year old Tibetan leader said at a television event last year that the whole world except China knows that he is not seeking independence.

China last year withdrew from a planned EU-China summit over French President Nicolas Sarkozy's decision to meet the Dalai Lama in Poland on December 6.

Fifty years ago on March 17, 1959, the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama left Norbulingka, his summer palace for India after Tibetan uprising of March 10 was crushed by Chinese forces.
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