New Delhi: In what looked like a major comedown, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama now says Tibet's interest is to remain a part of China as a 'zone of peace'. He, however, insisted that Tibetans should have their political freedom to preserve their culture and environment rights under the dispensation.
Delivering the M L Sondhi Memorial Lecture, the Dalai Lama urged China to stop 'cultural genocide' in Tibet and adopt a 'compassionate approach' and conciliatory measure for the resolution of the Tibet issue. He also appealed to India to play a role in achieving the goal to make the region a .
"To remain with the People's Republic of China is in our interest," the Buddhist spiritual head said "But we are seeking political freedom to preserve our culture and environment and are opposed to cultural genocide being promoted by China due to increasing influx of the Han people and spread of Chinese language in Tibet," he said.
Describing the increasing Chinese Han population and deployment of People's Liberation Army in Tibet as main 'hindrance towards attaining political Autonomy of Tibet', the Dalai Lama asked Bejing to downsize military and stop shifting mainland Han Chinese to Tibet.
"This will help achieve our goal to make Tibet a 'zone of peace' free from nuclear weapon," he said and asked India to play its role to help realise this goal.
"This zone of peace can very well serve as a buffer zone between India and China. Once this buffer Zone is established, you (India) can reduce jawans deployed at this side (Indo-Tibet) of border and can save not only money but life of jawans as well because they face very harsh situation in this difficult terrain," the Dalai Lama said.
When pointed out to him that despite Tibet's repeated requests, the West has not intervened to seek resolution of Tibet's problem, the Dalai Lama quipped: "We do not have oil reserves."