Chandigarh, Aug 8: While the Dalai Lama has extended greetings and “offered prayers for the success of the Beijing Olympics”, the Himachal Pradesh government has beefed up security along the state’s border with Tibet to prevent Tibetans in exile from crossing over.
As many as 56 Tibetans have been arrested so far in Lahaul-Spiti, trying to enter Tibet purportedly to protest the Olympics beginning Friday.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Force manning the international border along Himachal has been put on high alert.
The Dalai Lama said in a statement released in Dharamshala, “I would like to offer my greetings to the People’s Republic of China, the organisers and athletes participating in the Olympic Games in Beijing.
“I send my prayers and good wishes for the success of this event.”
The 1989 Nobel Peace laureate added, “Right from the time of China’s application to hold the Olympics, I have supported China’s right to host the Games.
“This is a moment of great pride for the 1.3 billion Chinese. The Games should contribute to promoting the Olympic spirit of friendship, openness and peace.”
Meanwhile, a parallel Olympic torch being carried by Tibetans will reach Dharamshala on Friday to coincide with the opening of the Beijing Olympics.
Organiser Tnzing Thodup said the torch began its journey in Greece on March 10 and passing through 11 countries, would reach Dharamshala.
The organisers hope to “highlight the paradox of the 2008 Beijing Olympics — the world’s most respectful and peaceful sporting event in one of the most repressive and brutal countries”.
Lately, the Dalai Lama has advocated a “middle way approach”, calling for a “real and meaningful” autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the Chinese constitution, a broad compromise many young Tibetans are not happy about.
Seven rounds of talks between the Dalai Lama’s representatives and that of the Chinese government — the latest was held in Beijing in July — have made no headway.
“I personally told my Chinese counterpart very candidly that if the talks do not produce any tangible results, there is no point in wasting each other’s time,” the Dalai Lama’s special envoy Gyari said.
The next round of talks is expected around October after the Beijing Olympics.