Want autonomy for Tibet not freedom: Lama

Maintaining that Tibetans follow the non-violent path for their fight for Tibet, Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama Monday said they are not seeking independence but meaningful "autonomy".

Last Updated: Jun 07, 2010, 09:40 AM IST

Paddar(J&K): Maintaining that Tibetans follow the non-violent path for their fight for Tibet, Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama Monday said they are not seeking independence but meaningful "autonomy".

"We are not seeking independence... we are seeking meaningful autonomy for Tibet. That is the guarantee for preservation of Tibetan culture including language," the Lama told reporters when asked if Tibetans would achieve freedom from China.

"Now every Tibetan wants modernised Tibet. Therefore, as far as development is concerned, it is all in the interest of the people," he said.

Asked if there are differences among youth to adopt violent ways to achieve the goal, Lama said, "No, more than 99 per cent of Tibetans follow the non-violent path including youth organisations for peace resolution".

"Youth organisations right from the beginning stood for struggle for independence. (But) We are not fighting for independence, so there are differences. But, as far as non- violence is concerned, all agree."

The spiritual leader had yesterday arrived here on a two-day visit to address a religious congregation. The city has a Buddhist population of about 7000.

This was his first visit to the area as his visits so far were confined to Leh and Ladakh where Buddhism is the main religion.

About India he said, "It is preserving its culture and promoting peace in the region. I am closely associated with India and consider myself as its peace ambassador".

PTI