The Dalai Lama is again finding himself the center of attention, coming under attack from Chinese officials while learning he is the winner of a prize worth $1.7 million.
Tibetan exiles in New Delhi yelled as they were taken away by police. Thursday’s protest were the latest in a series of demonstrations against a visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Later In New Delhi, Luo Zhaohui with China’s Foreign Ministry fired back :
“I would like to emphasize that the Dalai Lama and the so-called pro-Tibetan independence elements are trying to push such extreme and radical views by beautifying, by glorifying and instigating extreme behaviors. This is not consistent with the teachings of Buddhism and this is aimed at political purposes and we are strongly opposed to that.”
The protest and China’s response came a day after a 27-year-old Tibetan man died, having set himself on fire earlier in the week. But even as tensions continue to simmer, the Dalai Lama was again front and center – this time announced as the winner of the 2012 Templeton Prize.
“This is another sign of recognition about my little service to humanity, mainly non-violence and unity.”
The $1.7 million prize is awarded each year to a person who has made “an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” In a YouTube video posted on the Templeton Prize website, the Tibetan spiritual leader maintained violence is not the way.
“Whenever we face (a) problem, we have to find (a) non-violent way to solve that problem. Use of violence or force cannot solve the problem.”
The Dalai Lama will officially be presented with the award in London on May 14.
In the meantime, Tibetan protesters in New Delhi continue to make their voices heard – their differences with China aired for the world to see.