In this instance it is quite important to note the source of this news release as being the English language version of the China View web site. The ABOUT US page for that site is a dead link (Error 404-page not found), but the copyright at the bottom of the page (dated 2003) shows that the site is owned by Xinhua News Agency. While it is likely there may be some Tibetans who are unhappy with the Dalai Lama, the biased political slant of this piece was a cause for concern. My position is very much in favor of the teachings of His Holiness, but I must profess a degree of western ignorance regarding the subtleties of the politics between the Tibetan and the Chinese governments. With some reservations, this article is being presented as an informational piece only, with a portion of the piece is reprinted below:
Dalai Lama unpopular among Tibetans: regional chairman
(www.chinaview.cn 2005-05-31 21:23:31)
BEIJING, May 31 (Xinhuanet by Wei Wu) -- Dalai Lama has become more and more unpopular in southwestern China's Tibet Autonomous Region since what he wants is to split the region from China, regardless of its robust development momentum and sound ethnic relations, said Qianbo Puncog, chairman of the region during an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
"All the locals want the current stable and sound situation in Tibet to continue but Dalai Lama, judging from his words and deeds,simply wants to destroy it and make something different," said Puncog. "And the result is he has grown more and more unpopular in Tibet."
"What Dalai and some Western forces really want is nothing but splitting Tibet from China," he said. "Whatever the names he invents for Tibetan independence, his nature will remain the same."
Dalai Lama had before put forward a series of ideas puffing high degree autonomy in Tibet or establishing a "big Tibetan area"that involves four more Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Qinghai and Gansu.
However, according to the Chinese history, there was only one "big Tibetan area" about one thousand years ago in southwest China but no more reappeared thereafter.
"As far as today's Tibet is concerned, such an area is absolutely nothing but impossible."
Puncog viewed Dalai Lama's "high degree autonomy" as one intentionally invented against China's current ethnic autonomous region system, a basic one for China that has proved quite successful after effective for more than two decades.
Read the entire article at the chinaview.com web site.
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UPDATE WEDS JUNE 01, 2005
This story has been now been also picked up by Reuters, ExpressIndia.com, Independent Online (South Africa), People's Daily (China) Online (English version).