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Dalai Lama Unworthy of Being Religious Leader: Tibet Official
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The Dalai Lama was accused on Tuesday of engaging in activities unrelated to religion and of being an unworthy religious leader. The remarks were made by the party chief of China's Tibet Autonomous Region. 


"The Dalai Lama used to be an acknowledged religious leader, which is an undoubted fact, but what he has done makes him unworthy of the title," said Zhang Qingli in an interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel.


The Dalai Lama staged a failed armed rebellion against the Chinese government in the late 1950's and stirred social unrest in Lhasa in the late 1980's, said Zhang.


By the end of the first half of this year he had paid 312 "official visits" to other countries, averaging six visits a year, while in 2005 he made 12 overseas journeys, said Zhang.


"The goals of his 'official visits' are to ally himself with 'anti-China' forces and publicize his separatist beliefs which deviate from the practice of religion," said Zhang.


Earlier, the chairman of the Tibetan government Qiangba Puncog, described the Dalai Lama as "a politician in Buddhist robes and Italian shoes," quoting media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.


Zhang said only a few people in the world knew the real Dalai Lama whose supporters were  either devoted believers and hostile to China or people ignorant of the whole story.


"I still can't figure out how he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize," said Zhang, "What peace has he brought to the world?"


The party chief also labeled the Dalai Lama as a double dealer saying his so-called "middle way" was in fact a thinly disguised bid for independence. In the Dalai Lama's "middle way" he sought a "greater Tibet" which would enjoy more autonomy than Hong Kong and Macao, said Zhang.


When the Dalai Lama abandoned his separatist views the door to talks would be open, said Zhang.


(Xinhua News Agency August 9, 2006)

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