China mum on Dalai Lama`s request to visit quake-hit areas

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 16:13

Beijing: China on Tuesday evaded a direct
response to the Dalai Lama`s request to visit the quake-hit
Qinghai province in Tibetan plateau, but brought the 11th
Panchen Lama to conduct Buddhist prayer rituals for those
killed in the quake.

Evading a direct answer whether China would allow the
India-based Dalai Lama to visit quake-hit areas, Foreign
Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu merely said that China fully
respects the religious beliefs and customs of locals and all
religious ceremonies including prayer and expiation activities
were being conducted without any hindrance.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama last week
asked China to allow him to visit the victims in quake-hit
Qinghai province, where he was born.

"To fulfil the wishes of many of the people there, I
am eager to go there myself to offer them comfort," the
74-year-old Tibetan temporal head, who has not visited his
homeland since he fled to India after a failed uprising
against Chinese rule in 1959, said in a statement.

Asked for the Chinese government`s stand on Dalai
Lama`s comments, Jiang said both the government and Chinese
people are doing their "utmost" in carrying with relief and
rescue of the quake affected.

"Chinese living overseas including Tibetan compatriots
have also extended their concern and consolation to the
affected areas. At present we have sufficient human resources
(deployed) in the area and material supplies are also
streaming in there," she said.

"People in the areas are being properly treated. The
government fully respects the local people religious beliefs
and customs. We have also offered mental comfort services.
Relevant religious activities including prayer and expiation
are being conducted," Jiang said.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini
Qoigyijabu presided over a prayer meeting in the Xihuang
Temple in downtown Beijing "to guide the souls of those who
died in the earthquake through sufferings to heaven", official
Xinhua news agency reported.

The ceremony was jointly hosted by Jamyang Losang
Jigme Tubdain Qoigyi Nyima, a "living Buddha"" and vice
president of the Buddhist Association of China, it said.

They also prayed for the people in quake zone to help
them get through their sufferings, and for peace and security
of the whole world. Monks at the Lama Temple and the China
Advanced Institute of Tibetan Buddhism attended the ceremony.

Panchen Lama, who was early this year made the member
of the influential Chinese People`s Political Consultative
Conference (CPPCC), is also vice president of the Buddhist
Association of China. He donated about USD 15000 for the
relief operations.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 16:13

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