Kathmandu bans celebrations for Dalai Lama's 84th birthday

The Nepalese government has imposed a ban because of risk of self-immolations by monks.  On 7 July, his birthday, the head of Tibetan Buddhism urged the faithful to be "compassionate and create religious harmony".  Nepal is part of the Beijing partner countries in the "New Chinese Silk Road" strategy.  In 2015 it was saved from bankruptcy caused by the Delhi embargo.

 

 


Kathmandu (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The government of Nepal has imposed a ban on celebrations for the 84th birthday of the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism.  With an official note released on 5 July, the Tibetan Representative Office in Kathmandu reports the ordinance of the Nepalese police, which prohibits celebrations for "security reasons" linked to the risk of public self -immolations by monks.  But critics believe that the cancellation of the festivities is due to the growing influence of China, which has always considered the Dalai Lama a "wolf in sheep's clothing".

Meanwhile, on 6 July Tenzin Gyatso, XIV Dalai Lama, celebrated his birthday at his residence in Dharamshala, Arunachal Pradesh (India).  From here, in video conference, he appealed to the communities of the faithful in Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.  "If you really love me - he exhorted - look at my three teachings: whatever you do, wherever you live, try to create a compassionate environment, a compassionate society and finally religious harmony".

Nepal is home to some 20,000 Tibetans in exile, who fled during the Tibetan revolt against Chinese military rule in March 1959. On that date, the head of Tibetan Buddhism was forced to flee the Potala Palace, his residence in Lhasa.

Although he has often tried to dialogue with Beijing, to safeguard the autonomy of Tibetan religion and culture threatened from a "cultural genocide", the Chinese Communist Party has always branded him as a "dangerous separatist" who wants the independence of Tibet.

In the desire to be able to return to Tibet, in 2011 he gave up his political office to remain only spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism.  He never abandoned the dream of being able to return home to Tibet, and he also reiterated it recently in an interview with the BBC.

In recent years, the Beijing government has emerged as one of Kathmandu's major trading partners.  In the last year it financed the economy of the Himalayan region with 60 million dollars in hydroelectric, road and infrastructure projects.  In May 2017 the governments of the two countries signed an important agreement that falls under the plan of the "Belt and Road Initiative", the new name of the "Chinese Silk Road".

Above all, it was Beijing that revived the fate of the country after a grueling embargo imposed by Delhi, a historic partner who exercised hegemonic control over Kathmandu.  The blockade of the transit of goods, which lasted five months, led the country to collapse.  In that situation, Beijing offered a lifeline for the economy and the survival of the population.

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