'He is completely committed to non-violence'


'He is completely committed to non-violence'




The Dalai Lama's threat to resign has spread confusion among his supporters, who point out that such a step would be unprecedented.

"He simply dies and is reincarnated," said Matt Whitticase, a spokesman for the Free Tibet campaign in London.

In seeking to clarify the Dalai Lama's remarks, others have drawn a distinction between his position as spiritual leader and as leader of the government-in-exile.

"If the Tibetans were to choose the path of violence he would have to resign because he is completely committed to non-violence," said Tenzin Taklha, one of the Dalai Lama's top aides.

"He would resign as the political leader and head of state, but not as the Dalai Lama. He will always be the Dalai Lama."

Supporters of the Dalai Lama are keen to quash any notion that his authority has been eroded by some of the "young Turks", who have lost patience with their leader's non-violent approach.

"According to all eyewitness accounts, the one thing that unifies all protesters is the call for the Dalai Lama's return," said Whitticase. "His moral authority as leader of the Tibetan people, his legitimacy is not diminished."

Tibet's spiritual leader, Tenzin Gyatso, was born in Lhamo Dhondub to a peasant family in a small village in north-eastern Tibet in July 1935. His parents were farmers with several other children. He was recognised at age two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama and enthroned before he turned four.

He assumed full powers at age 15 in 1950, the same year that troops of Mao Zedong's newly installed communist government invaded Tibet and crushed its small army. The Dalai Lama was to remain in Tibet for another nine years, during which time he negotiated with Mao on the future of the Tibet.

The talking came to an end in 1959, when Chinese troops crushed an attempted uprising. The 14th Dalai Lama fled into India by foot to elude capture and was offered asylum by the Indian government. He settled in Dharamsala, northern India, where he was joined by 80,000 Tibetans in exile.

Since then, the Dalai Lama has become a beacon of hope and resistance for the Tibetan diaspora. Over the years, his rising international prominence has infuriated Beijing. He was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1989 for his consistent message of non-violence in his quest for Tibetan self-rule.

"It would be natural to compare him with Mahatma Gandhi, one of this century's greatest protagonists of peace," Egil Aarvik, the former chairman of the Norwegian Nobel committee, said at the time.

Beijing's frustration reached new levels when the Dalai Lama was warmly greeted by the likes of George Bush and Angela Merkel in the past year.

China has consistently sought to portray the Dalai Lama as a troublemaker or, in its terminology, a "splittist". The latest Chinese denunciations of the Dalai Lama came today at a press conference from the normally mild-mannered prime minister, Wen Jiabao.

"There is ample fact — and we also have plenty of evidence — proving that this incident was organised, premeditated, masterminded and incited by the Dalai clique," Wen told reporters at his annual news conference at the end of China's national legislative session.

"This has all the more revealed that the consistent claims made by the Dalai clique that they pursue not independence but peaceful dialogue are nothing but lies."

It all seems rather intemperate given the Dalai Lama's well-known stance on non-violence and his oft-stated desire for autonomy rather than independence for Tibet, but Tibet has always been a big blind spot for the Chinese.

"Once you've committed violence, it easily becomes out of control," he said in a BBC interview in 2004. "It's very unpredictable, so therefore no matter how desperate the situation, it is better to avoid using violence."

Today, he called on his fellow exiles, currently on a protest they say will take them from India all the way to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, to stop their march at the border.

"Will you get independence? What's the use?" he said.

ample - wystarczający

beacon – światło (ostrzegawcze)

capture – schwytanie, pojmanie

clique - klika

crush - miażdżyć

diaspora – diaspora; Polish diaspora- Polonia

diminish – zmniejszać, umniejszać

distinction - różnica

elude – umykać, uciekać

enthrone – osadzać na tronie, intronizować

erode – niszczeć, ulegać degradacji

government-in-exile – rząd na uchodźstwie

incite – namawiać, podżegać

instal- wprowadzić (na urząd)

intemperate – niepohamowany, nieumiarkowany

legitimacy – legalność, prawowitość

mastermind - planować

oft-stated – często przedstawiany

premeditated – wcześniej obmyślać, wcześniej zaplanować

prominence – waga, znaczenie

quash – tłumić, dławić, uciszać

quest - poszukiwanie

stance – postawa, stanowisko

uprising - powstanie

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