Tibetan spiritual leader to visit Ladakh after four years

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama talks to the media as he arrives in Jammu on Thursday, July 14, 2022.

Amidst a rousing reception by Ladakhi students and other people in Jammu, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Thursday raised the issue of autonomy of Tibet.

The Dalai Lama who is scheduled to take a flight to Leh, if weather permits, tomorrow said he was not seeking independence of Tibet, but a meaningful autonomy within the Republic of China.

“More and more Chinese people now realise that the Dalai Lama is not seeking independence but a meaningful autonomy and preservation of Tibetan Buddhist culture within China,” the Dalai Lama said while talking to reporters outside the hotel where he will stay.

His month-long stay in Ladakh will start tomorrow, two days before India and China are likely scheduled to meet for their 16th Corps Commander level talks that will reportedly focus on easing tensions along Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Asked about China’s objection to his visits in Ladakh earlier, he said this was usual. “This is usual. Not Chinese people but some hardliners there consider me as a separatist and reactionary. But now more and more Chinese are showing interest in Tibetan Buddhism. Some of the Chinese scholars realise Tibetan Buddhism is a scientific religion. Now things are changing,” he said.

A large number of Ladakhi students and other people gathered in front of the hotel where the Dalai Lama will stay today in Jammu. The spiritual leader waved at them from inside his car.

The Dalai Lama’s visit to Ladakh after four years has filled people of the region with enthusiasm. Tight security arrangements have been made in the northernmost Union Territory of the country for the visit. He will go in one-week isolation after reaching the cold desert and will deliver religious sermons in the Choglamsar area of Leh district thereafter.