Sat, Mar 16, 2019 - Page 5 News List

The Dalai Lama’s escape 60 years ago

AFP, PARIS

“It is thanks to the affectionate support and the loyalty of his people that the Dalai Lama was able to make his way, by an extremely difficult route,” it said.

It denied a Chinese claim that he had been forced into exile.

“The Dalai Lama wishes to categorically state that he left Lhasa and Tibet and came to India of his own free will and not by force,” it said.

GOVERNMENT-IN-EXILE

India granted the Tibetan leader asylum on April 3 and permission to establish a government-in-exile in the northern hill station of Dharamsala, already a sanctuary for thousands of Tibetan exiles fleeing Chinese repression.

From there he launched a campaign to reclaim Tibet, gradually easing this into an appeal for greater autonomy. Talks between the two sides failed, China adamantly rejecting any suggestion of Tibetan autonomy and blacklisting the Dalai Lama a dangerous “separatist.”

Beijing continues to be accused of political and religious repression in the region, but insists Tibetans enjoy extensive freedoms and that it has brought economic growth.

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