President of Tibetan Govt in Exile, Penpa Tsering, has accused the Chinese government of orchestrating the recent viral video controversy surrounding the Dalai Lama. Tsering stated that the resurfacing of the video, which showed the Dalai Lama kissing a child at a public event, was part of a larger campaign to malign the reputation of the Tibetan spiritual leader.
Speaking to Zee News’s Diplomatic Correspondent Sidhant Sibal, he said, “everybody knows who benefits from the maligning, destruction of reputation of His Holiness and the legacy of his holiness – it is the Chinese government”
Tsering who is the Sikyong (President) of the Central Tibetan Administration also spoke out against Chinese aggression at India’s northern border, stating that their actions were not helping anybody. Additionally, Tsering challenged the Chinese government to properly study Tibetan Buddhism before attempting to interfere in the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, warning that their actions could lead to a “lifelong problem.”
Sidhant Sibal: My first question to you is regarding the recent controversy involving his Holiness the Dalai Lama. We saw the visuals going on the internet. What do you have to say about this?
Sikyong Penpa Tsering: It’s really unfortunate that His Holiness’ actions have been taken in a totally different way. If you watch the whole video, then you will understand a grandfatherly affectionate demeanor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His Holiness is 87 years old. Please understand, he is no more a young man to be accused of all the names.
“We also need to understand where it’s coming from. You know that this event happened publicly in the presence of the media on 28th of February. Now this resurfaced one month and 10 days later and who were the first instigators of the resurfacing of these viral videos. And everybody knows who benefits from the maligning, destruction of reputation of His Holiness and the legacy of his holiness – it is the Chinese government, we all know that but unfortunately, what was going around in the social media was picked up by the mainstream news.”
“But I’m also happy to say that they didn’t repeat the program because I think that they have realized their mistakes by just depending on a tailored clip that was pushed purposely to spear campaign against His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
Sidhant Sibal: So, are you saying that it was the Chinese government? Do you think in fact it was the Chinese government behind this entire saga?
Sikyong Penpa Tsering: From the prima facie evidence that we have, even before it spread here, this was spread widely inside China to create a perception of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, then it moved internationally and if you look at the scale and the extent of how it was orchestrated, there is a bigger force. There’s no doubt about it.
Sidhant Sibal: What do you have to say about the recent development at the border, especially when it comes to Arunachal Pradesh, the Chinese building up infrastructure and villages what’s your view about that?
Sikyong Penpa Tsering: How will it help to build harmonious society, harmonious neighbors. I don’t understand. I don’t understand the unprovoked belligerence at the Indian border from the Chinese. It used to be Tibet-India border, it is still Indo-Tibetan border force and India Tibet border police for the Indian government, it is not Sino-Indian border.
“What the Chinese government is doing right now is not helping anyone. Of course, now you have this sense of strategic rivalry and economic competition between the two countries, but it cannot benefit both countries. Why should it be used against another country, It Doesn’t make sense.”
“Like if China really wants more peace and stability in the region, it has to win the confidence of its own people, the Chinese people, the Tibetans, Uyghurs, Mongols, Hong Kongers, everybody. Then it has to win the confidence of all the neighboring countries; they may have political power, military power, all that, but they don’t have the moral power. Nobody trusts them.”
Sidhant Sibal: So, my final question, the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, we have seen Chinese coming out with their own views, and of course their own versions. What do you have to say about that?
Sikyong Penpa Tsering: So, all we can say is if they want to be responsible for the reincarnation of His Holiness, they should study Tibetan Buddhism first. This is unique to Tibetan Buddhism, without understanding the concept of life after death, how can you be responsible, and my challenge to the Chinese government is, do you want one lifelong problem. When the time comes, of course, His Holiness assures us that he would live for over another two decades, up to 113 years.
“I also keep saying that it remains to be seen whether his holiness outlives the Communist Party, or the Communist Party outlives the Dalai Lama. But then, again, China wants to use this as a political tool. And if they have learned any lessons from how they chose their own Panchen Lama, totally disregarding the boy chosen by His Holiness the Dalai Lama… Today that boy is not recognized by the Tibetans inside Tibet. he didn’t have any impact. So do they want another lifelong problem, lifelong headache or not, that is something the Chinese leadership needs to think about.”