The Dalai Lama on January 5, 2002 urged India to play a more active role in the resolution of the Tibetan problem, the Press Trust of India reports. Addressing a seminar on ‘Tibet and India – Shared concerns’ in Delhi, the Dalai Lama said, “After years of failed peace talks and violent suppression of Tibetans, I feel the international community, especially India should play a more active role in facilitating autonomy to Tibet.” The Dalai Lama’s call assumes significance as Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji is scheduled to visit India from January 13, 2002.

The Dalai Lama emphasized that his ‘ceaseless efforts to free Tibet from Chinese rule would continue”, but said he had toned down the demand from ‘complete independence’ to ‘autonomy’, so that a ‘compromise deal could be struck’ and Tibet’s heritage and the ecology could be ‘saved’.

“What is happening in Tibet is a mindless assault on our religious freedom. Lamas are being arrested, monasteries shut down and there is degradation of the ecology of the Tibetan plateau due to deforestation and dumping of nuclear waste” by China, the Dalai Lama said.

The Dalai Lama also gave a public discourse on “Self-development through the Six Perfections” on January 5 organized by the Tushita Meditation Centre.