On the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), resulting from the dismemberment of the historic Tibet occupied in 1950, Chinese authorities took the opportunity to launch a new attack against the 80 year-old Dalai Lama, once also the temporal leader of the Tibetans but who for years renounced to this role, focusing on that of monk that destiny posed at the head of Lamaist Buddhism.
As a tireless globetrotter, the Dalai Lama has however never stopped reminding the world of the fate of his land, which he was forced to abandon to avoid capture after the failed 1959 insurrection of Lhasa, not asking for independence but a more concrete autonomy.
The Chinese leadership once again, this time through its ‘number 4′ of the Communist Party hierarchy, Yu Zhengsheng, accused the Dalai Lama of promoting violent separatism.
Speaking today to thousands of local officials, students and others gathered in Tibet in front of the iconic Potala Palace, former residence of the Dalai Lama, Yu stated that “people of all ethnicities are steadfastly engaged in a struggle against separatism, continuously thwarting the Dalai clique and foreign hostile forces’ splittist and sabotage activities”. An intervention that echoes that of Monday, always in Lhasa, addressing local police and court officials.
Also yesterday, rights group Free Tibet denounced the celebrations, saying they “may be dressed up in 21st century PR but they belong in the era of Mao”, referring to the founder of modern China, Mao Zedong.