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09:45 Mar 11 2010

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Dalai Lama's remarks confound black with white
09:42, March 11, 2010  

Around 10 o'clock Wednesday morning, incense smoke enveloped the Drepung Temple in the holy city of Lhasa. Pilgrims, most in traditional Tibetan costumes and with prayer wheels, kowtowed along the streets outside.

Inside the temple, lamas were chanting scriptures while pilgrims kowtowed in front of the statue of Buddha. One pilgrim sat in front of a lama, receiving blessings.

Some Tibetan construction workers were also there, busy renovating a major hall in the temple.


Tibetan Buddhists gathered at a monastery in Lhasa on Feb. 10 to celebrate a religious holiday and pray for good luck in the Tibetan New Year. (Xinhua Photo)


Around the Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple, there were streams of pilgrims, chanting scriptures and kowtowing to make long prayers.

In the same morning, the Dalai Lama blamed the Central Government for intending to "deliberately annihilate Buddhism" in his speech to mark the 51th anniversary of his exile.

In the speech delivered in the northern Indian hill town Dharamshala, the seat of his "government in exile", the Dalai Lama said that the Chinese government is "putting the monks and nuns in prison-like conditions."

"Dalai Lama's remarks confound black with white," said Sun Yong, vice director and research fellow with Tibetan Autonomous Region's Academy of Social Sciences.

Kelzang Yeshe, research fellow with China Academy of Social Sciences, said to better protect Buddhism, the country has invested more than 700 million yuan for maintaining monasteries in Tibet Autonomous Region since its reform and opening-up drive.

"In monasteries, monks freely conduct religious practice and learn scriptures. But monks are Chinese citizens as well. That's why they need to receive patriotic education. It is a normal practice," he said.

Zhang Yun, research fellow with the China Tibetology Research Center, said people could easily tell that Dalai Lama's accusation was unfounded if they visited the monasteries in Tibet.

"The Dalai Lama has his own ulterior political motives by saying so," he added.
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