Beijing: In a fresh attack on Dalai Lama, a mouthpiece of the Chinese government on Sunday criticised his call for greater autonomy for Tibet and questioned whether he was really qualified to speak for six million Tibetans.
In an article, the People’s Daily, slammed the demands submitted by the spiritual leader`s representatives during their talks with Chinese officials early this year and said the Dalai Lama`s demand implies "greater Tibet”, which he never represented.
"In early 2010, the Dalai Clique filed a note relating to the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for All Tibetans to the Chinese government, requesting talks on the welfare of six million Tibetans," the write up said inferring that his demand included all Tibetans living in four other provinces, Sichuan, Gansu, Qinghai and Yunnan, besides Tibet.
The article titled `Is the Dalai Lama qualified to speak on the `welfare of 6 million Tibetans?`, said the Dalai Lama himself hails from Tibetan majority Qinghai, which suffered heavy earthquake in April this year in which over 2,600 people were killed and thousands injured.
"Prior to the 1950s, (before the take over of Tibet by China) Tibetan society was still extremely closed and backwards, and the production level and the development of the entire society were at an exceptionally low level... Countless Tibetans died from hunger, cold, poverty or disease," it said.
It said the 14th Dalai Lama could not even guarantee the most fundamental rights of survival for numerous Tibetan farmers, and therefore "he is not qualified to talk about the welfare of six million Tibetans".
Furthermore, "6 million Tibetans" implies a concept of a "Greater Tibet".
As the 14th Dalai Lama had never managed any Tibetan region outside Tibet, he is even further from being qualified to discuss the "welfare of 6 million Tibetans”, it said. In the several rounds of talks that were held between the Dalai Lama`s envoys and the Chinese officials, the Tibetan spiritual leader is believed to have called for more autonomy for Tibetans under the Chinese Constitution.
China rejected it stating that it would not allow Tibet the kind of autonomy granted to the territories of Hong Kong and Macau. China in the past dismissed the demand for demand for autonomy for Tibet as "disguised independence".
The latest tirade against the Dalai Lama comes as China poised to open Tibet, regarded as the roof of the world, to international tourism.
The government planned to take a team of international journalists for tour of Tibet later this month to showcase the progress made in the area which now boasts of four airports, besides a vast network or roads and railways.
The criticism is also timed along with current tour of Tibet by 11th Panchen Lama, the 20-year-old monk being projected as the successor to Dalai Lama.
Historically, Dalai Lama figured as the number one spiritual head of Tibet Buddhists followed by Panchen Lama.
The present Panchen Lama appointed by China is being groomed to take over as the spiritual leader.
The Beijing-based monk is currently on a rare visit to Tibet, where according to the official media, he drew a good response from both the Buddhist monks and the public.