Dalai Lama attends Geneva conference despite China's protest

China expresses dissatisfaction after Dalai Lama takes place in UN conference in Geneva

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama waves to devotees outside the United Nations in Geneva.

The Dalai Lama attended a conference with Nobel Peace Prize laureates in Geneva on Friday, making a speech over Chinese repression on Tibetans, despite strong opposition from China.

China called UN diplomats not to invite the spiritual leader for the conference which was chaired by UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmorat at Geneva's Graduate Institute.

"One part of the human brain usually develops common sense. Some of these (Chinese) hardliners, that part of brain is missing," the 80-year-old Nobel Laureate Dalai Lama told the audience.

Before his attendance at the conference, Dalai Lama emphasised the frequency of those kinds of reactions from China, saying that, "Wherever my name is, they usually criticise and protest. That's quite routine, normal, nothing special."

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama addresses panel discussion on Human Rights next to Iranian lawyer Alikarami in Geneva.

Chinese Foreign Ministry made a comment on the issue, blaming US and Canada for being the main organisers of the conference and meddling in China’s domestic affairs.

The Foreign Ministry also warned that Dalai Lama is not just a spiritual leader but that he has engaged in "anti-China separatist activities" for a long period.

"He was the biggest serf owner in old Tibet, and has no qualifications at all to talk about human rights.”

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said UN human rights department violated the union's resolution by allowing the deputy high commissioner to chair the conference.

"We have lodged solemn representations to relevant parties," he said.

Dalai Lama fled to exile in India following the abortive 1959 Tibetan uprising against Communist rule.  

Beijing blames him for unrest in Tibetan areas and self-immolations that have taken more than 140 lives since 2011, and says he seeks independence for his homeland.

A Buddhist group named the International Shugden Community (ISC) announced with a statement on their website their decision to put an end to their global campaign of harassing the Dalai Lama.

The announcement came after claims that China’s ruling Communist Party backs the Buddhist religious sect behind the protests that have caused problems for the Dalai Lama in almost every country he has visited. 


TRTWorld and agencies