Washington, Feb 23(ANI): Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has said he still loves China, despite concerns about Beijing's 'cultural suppression' of his homeland.
When asked if he loves the Chinese, the Dalai Lama said: Certainly. We have to practice that. Sometimes you see some of these hardliners' sort of policy, brutalist policy, sometimes I got some irritation for short moment. Still, yes, I have to sort of make effort to keep love."
However, he said that Tibetans had complaints about Chinese policies, including on issues such as religious freedom and the protection of the natural environment.
"The Chinese government denies there is a sort of problem. They say Tibetans - very happy, prosperity, very much better than previous Tibet. But we received information from some inside... on cultural side, or religious ... so much suppression and control, restriction," he said.
The Tibetan spiritual leader fled Tibet in 1959 after China crushed an abortive uprising against its rule in the country. Since then, he has been living in India and building a global following, despite China's attempts to isolate him.
The Dalai Lama met US President Barack Obama at the White House on February 18, leading China to lodge a diplomatic protest with the US ambassador in Beijing.
Beijing accuses the Nobel Peace Prize laureate of being a separatist, but he reiterated that he is not seeking independence, but greater autonomy for Tibetans under Chinese rule.
"We do not want separation from China because Tibet - landlocked country, materially backward. Every Tibetan wants modernized Tibet so for that reason remain within the People's Republic of China is our own interest," he said. (ANI)