8 years ago209 views
Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche is positive about the upcoming meeting between their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama and United States President Barack Obama. He said on Monday (February 15) that it will send a strong message to Chinese leaders that they cannot dictate terms to other countries.
The White House announced last week the meeting will go ahead on Thursday (February 18), despite Chinese authorities warning it would hurt relations between the two countries.
Chinese leaders have been adamant about opposing meetings between foreign leaders and the Dalai Lama.
In Dharamsala, India, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Rinpoche said the meeting will help Tibetans.
[Samdhong Rinpoche, Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile]:
"Yes, it is encouraging. It is encouraging, particularly [for the] Tibetans living inside Tibet—they would be very much encouraged. And also it is a good message to PRC [People's Republic of China] leadership that they cannot dictate everyone by their kind of arrogance and bullism. So I think it's a good message to them."
During his visit to Beijing in November, Obama told Chinese leaders he intended to meet the Dalai Lama. Recently, the U.S. administration has made it clear they will ignore any opposition from the Chinese regime and will go ahead with the talks.
Previous U.S. presidents, including Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, have met the Dalai Lama. The Chinese regime reacted to those meetings with angry words.
The Dalai Lama has said he wants a high level of genuine autonomy for his homeland, which he fled in 1959. Chinese leaders say he’s calling for outright independence, which the Dalai Lama denies.
Washington has said it accepts Tibet as part of China, but wants Chinese leaders to sit down with the Dalai Lama to address differences over the region's future.