A top official from Tibet regional government said yesterday that the Dalai Lama’s retirement will have a very limited impact on Tibet, and the official ruled out any talks with the Dalai’s “government-in-exile” in northern India.
Padma Choling, chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, said the retirement of the 14th Dalai Lama will be like “a ripple in a swimming pool”. He added that the regional government and Tibetans are capable of keeping stability and improving livelihood continuously, regardless of what the Dalai Lama says or does.
“Whether he retires or not, the Dalai Lama is not allowed to sabotage the happy lives of our Tibetan people,” Choling said at a news conference held in Beijing by the State Council Information Office to mark the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet.
The Dalai Lama fled to India and created the self-declared “Tibetan government-in-exile” in 1959. The 76-year-old religious figure was blamed for fomenting the March 14 bloody riot in 2008 in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet autonomous region, leaving at least 18 people dead and more than 400 injured.
Choling said his government is the only legal government representing Tibetans and that none of the world’s countries recognizes the “government-in-exile.”
“You said the Dalai Lama has picked a successor. But what he is going to succeed, and from whom?” Choling said while answering questions at the press conference.
“I am the eighth chairman of the Tibet autonomous region, the only legitimate government elected by Tibetans since 1965,” Choling added.
He said that if talks with the Dalai Lama are held, the central government will only talk about the future of the Dalai Lama and the people around him.
“He has not done anything good for the Tibetans since he fled,” said Choling. “It might be actually a good thing for Tibetans if he sincerely decided to retire and just be a devoted Buddhist.”
Choling said Tibet has achieved the miracle of a leap of more than 1,000 years in the space of 60 since the peaceful liberation of Tibet in 1951.
“In such a short time the region has transformed from a feudal serf system to socialism, and from a closed and impoverished society to an open, prosperous and civil one.”