Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Dalai Lama at FCCJ : "It is my duty to create more trouble"

The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, was our guest today at the FCCJ. I asked him about his visit in November to Tawang monastery. He said his planned visit to Buddhist monasteries on the India-China border next month is solely for teaching and shouldn’t anger China’s government.

“If my visit creates problems, I’m very sad, that’s all,” the 74 year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner told to us today (254 journalists and guests). “It was a fearful journey with great anxiety, and when I reached the Tawang area it was an immense relief. I have great feelings about the area.

Tawang is home to one of the largest monasteries of his Gelugpa sect of Buddhism. Local leaders invited him to teach and dedicate a new hospital, built in part with funds he donated. The Dalai Lama told us that next month’s visit was the first opportunity to accept, and was not meant to surprise the Chinese government.

"The PRC Chinese government considers me as a trouble maker, so it is my duty to create more trouble." He said while the press club clapped with much encouragement.

The Dalai Lama will visit the town of Tawang in a disputed border region of Arunachal Pradesh state next month. The town is where he crossed into India in 1959 while fleeing Chinese rule over Tibet, as well as the birthplace in the 17th-century of the sixth Dalai Lama.