The Chinese government should recognize the Dalai Lama as the key to resolving the Sino-Tibetan conflict and invite him to “Tibet and China on pilgrimage without any precondition,” said Penpa Tsering, president of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
He was speaking at a ceremony commemorating the 86th birthday of the Tibetan spiritual leader.
On the occasion of the Dalai Lama’s birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent greetings to him.
“Spoke to His Holiness the @DalaiLama on the phone to wish him a happy 86th birthday.”
Prime Minister Modi tweeted, “We wish him a long and healthy life.”
Since escaping China in 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama has made India his home.
“His Holiness the Dalai Lama is one of the foremost guides of our time and is one of the few individuals who can reorient Sino-Tibetan history toward a positive direction.
“The Chinese government should, therefore, recognise that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the key to resolving the Sino-Tibetan conflict,” Penpa Tsering, who was elected as the president or Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in May, said.
He urged China to take use of the “mutually beneficial Middle Way Approach” to create a peaceful atmosphere in which Tibetans and Chinese may coexist together.
“Therefore, we appeal to the Chinese government to earnestly invite His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and China on pilgrimage without any precondition,” Penpa Tsering said
At the ceremony, he paid rich tributes to the Dalai Lama for his “visionary leadership” and pledged to strengthen Tibetan unity by resolving the minor differences within through constructive discussion.
“When it comes to our struggle, we must recognise our common opponent and work towards resolving our differences by engaging in constructive discussion.
“Our consolidated efforts should be directed towards fulfilling our common goals which is the mandatory and historic responsibility of the exiled Tibetan people,” said the Sikyong.
Since 2010, the Dalai Lama or his representatives have not met in formal consultations with Chinese government officials.
Beijing has accused the Dalai Lama of engaging in “separatist” activities in the past, but
the Tibetan spiritual leader has insisted that he is not seeking independence but “genuine autonomy for all Tibetans living in the three traditional provinces of Tibet” under the “Middle-Way approach”.
In a virtual address from his residence in Dharamshala, the Dalai Lama said he has taken full advantage of India’s freedom and religious harmony and is committed to reviving ancient Indian knowledge.
He thanked people from across the globe who greeted him on his birthday and said he would continue to serve humanity and combat climate change.
“Since I became a refugee and settled in India, I have taken full advantage of India’s freedom and religious harmony. I want to assure you that for the rest of my life I am committed to reviving ancient Indian knowledge,” said the Dalai Lama, whose real name is Tenzin Gyatso.
“I really appreciate the Indian concept of secular values, not dependent on religion, such as honesty, karuna (compassion) and ahimsa (non-violence),” he added.
In May, China stated that any successor to the current Dalai Lama must be recognised by China, shutting out any heir selected by the Tibetan spiritual leader’s followers in India.