China’s belligerence has put Sri Lanka in a difficult situation on both the political and economic fronts


Edited By: Pathikrit Sen Gupta

Last Updated: January 24, 2023, 18:55 IST

The Chinese envoy said that the 14th Dalai Lama is unquestionably not a 'simple monk', as he claims to be. (File photo/News18)

The Chinese envoy said that the 14th Dalai Lama is unquestionably not a ‘simple monk’, as he claims to be. (File photo/News18)

High-ranking Sri Lankan monks had hoped that the Dalai Lama would come to the island nation and help it get through its current economic problems

On January 11, 2023, a number of Chinese diplomats and their Chargé d’affaires Hu Wei hurried to the Malwathu Chapter of Buddhism in Kandy, Sri Lanka, sources told CNN-News18. They warned the monastery not to host the Dalai Lama because of Beijing’s dispute with him, added the sources.

This is counter to China’s pledge to the world that it will not meddle in the domestic or foreign affairs of any country.

The date of the Dalai Lama’s visit is not fixed because some Buddhist monks who had met him had expressed a desire to welcome him to Sri Lanka.

Hu Wei visited Kandy and met the Most Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera, the Mahanayake Thera of the Malwathu chapter of the Siam Nikaya.

He told the monastery how strongly the Chinese government and people, including those in the Tibet Autonomous Region, oppose His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to Sri Lanka.

The Chinese envoy said that the 14th Dalai Lama is unquestionably not a “simple monk”, as he claims to be. He is the ruler of Tibet’s feudal serfdom and theocracy before 1951, a person in political exile who has long been involved in anti-China separatist activities and tried to divide Tibet from China, Wei said.

The high-ranking Sri Lankan monks in fact hoped that the Dalai Lama would come to the island nation and help it get through its current economic problems.

“Both the economy and we will be blessed as a result,” they said.

The government of Sri Lanka’s assertion is that its relations with China are only commercial.

China’s belligerence has put Sri Lanka in a difficult situation on both the political and economic fronts.

Beijing’s hostility toward the Dalai Lama is multifaceted.

The Dalai Lama also established the Tibetan government in exile, and India viewed Tibet as a de facto country in its diplomatic relations.

It is important to note that China is pressuring Tibetans to give less attention to their religion and more support to President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

According to a report, Tibetan farmers have been relocated to contemporary housing in or close to towns and cities.

On the other hand, Muslim Uyghurs have been placed in “re-education centres”.

Mandarin comparable to that spoken in Xinjiang has been introduced to replace Tibetan.

The level of surveillance has increased in Tibet, said sources. Smartphones are tapped, and networks of informers transmit information to the state.

It has become very difficult for Tibetans to travel to India to attend religious lectures delivered by the Dalai Lama.

Also, Uyghurs can no longer make pilgrimages to Mecca.

Since 1949, over 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed, over 6,000 monasteries have been destroyed, and thousands of Tibetans have been imprisoned by China, according to reports.

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