China says it defends Tibetan culture

BEIJING Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:30pm IST

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama waves as he leaves Lilavati hospital in Mumbai September 1, 2008. China, not the Dalai Lama, is the real guardian of Tibet's culture, the government said on Thursday, rejecting criticism that its rule in the restive mountain region amounts to cultural annihilation. REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama waves as he leaves Lilavati hospital in Mumbai September 1, 2008. China, not the Dalai Lama, is the real guardian of Tibet's culture, the government said on Thursday, rejecting criticism that its rule in the restive mountain region amounts to cultural annihilation.

Credit: Reuters/Punit Paranjpe

Related Topics

Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers ride their camels as they rehearse for the "Beating the Retreat" ceremony in New Delhi January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

"Beating The Retreat" Rehearsals

Rehearsals are on for "Beating the Retreat" ceremony which symbolises retreat after a day on the battlefield, and marks the official end of the Republic Day celebrations.  Slideshow 

BEIJING (Reuters) - China, not the Dalai Lama, is the real guardian of Tibet's culture, the government said on Thursday, rejecting criticism that its rule in the restive mountain region amounts to cultural annihilation.

Beijing laid out its case in a "white paper" issued on Thursday, amassing statistics about literacy, education and religion to argue that Tibet has enjoyed a cultural revival since the Chinese Communist Party took control from 1950.

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who has said China may be perpetrating "cultural genocide" in his homeland, is the real source of cultural destruction, the paper says.

"Facts prove that the 14th Dalai Lama and his clique are the representatives and guardian of the backward culture of old Tibet," states the white paper, which was issued to reporters.

China's central government and administration in Tibet "are the ones that truly protect and develop Tibetan culture".

Beijing releases such papers to clarify its policies on contentious issues. Its latest salvo in its verbal battle with the Dalai Lama is sure to draw sharp rejection from critics.

They point to the destruction of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in past decades, current policies seeking to control monks and nuns, and the growing presence of Han Chinese and their influence in Tibet's capital Lhasa and other parts of the region.

During the riots and protests that erupted across Tibetan regions in March, the Dalai Lama said Beijing may be perpetrating deliberate "cultural genocide" in the region.

"Whether intentionally or unintentionally, somewhere cultural genocide is taking place", he said.

But China blames the Dalai Lama's "clique" for the unrest and anti-China protests which dogged the international torch relay for the Beijing Olympics. And in its white paper, the government makes the case that its support has been a boon for traditional Tibetan culture.

Literacy in both Tibetan and Chinese has grown dramatically; Tibetans can enjoy television, radio, books and magazines in their own language; and religious freedom is respected, says the paper.

The Dalai Lama's supporters "conspire to force the Tibetan ethnic group and its culture to stagnate and remain in a state similar to the Middle Ages, in effect to become living fossils," it says.

The 73-year-old Dalai has been recovering after abdominal pains that sent him to hospital last month and is cutting down on travel, an aide said on Wednesday.

FILED UNDER:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Reuters Showcase

Record Earnings

Record Earnings

Apple iPhone sales trample expectations as profit sets global record  Full Article 

Motor Racing

Motor Racing

Force India to miss Jerez F1 test  Full Article 

'Umrika' At Sundance

'Umrika' At Sundance

From Oscars to Sundance, Sharma and Revolori discuss India's 'Umrika'  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Djokovic, Wawrinka set up epic showdown, ill Serena through  Full Article 

India's Male Tenor

India's Male Tenor

India's lone male tenor aims to sing opera in local key  Full Article 

Hostage Case

Hostage Case

Jordan proposes prisoner swap, fate of Japanese IS hostage unclear  Full Article 

U.S. Blizzard

U.S. Blizzard

Blizzard hits Boston and New England, spares New York despite forecasts.  Full Article 

Spying Row

Spying Row

Spying program leaked by Snowden is tied to campaign in many countries.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage