Chinese political advisors from the religious circle Wednesday dismissed the Dalai Lama's so-called commitment to promote inter-religious harmony, saying he should not use religion as a tool for his separatist activities.
"The Dalai Lama has not served the religious harmony but instead repeatedly makes troubles," said Liu Bainian, vice chairman of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.
Liu, also deputy director of the Committee for Ethnic and Religious Affairs of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the remarks in response to a speech by the Dalai Lama on Tuesday to mark his abortive rebellion 50 years ago.
In the speech delivered in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamshala, the lama said as a religious practitioner he is committed to promotion of inter-religious harmony and "the issue of Tibet", while accusing the Chinese government has transformed the plateau region into a "hell on earth."
"The Dalai Lama has breached the doctrines of his religion by employing religion as a tool to conduct sabotage and serve his political purpose," Liu said.
Chubakang Tubdain Kaizhub, a Living Buddha, chairman of the Tibet Branch of the Buddhist Association of China and a political advisor, said the Dalai Lama should "stop doing things that harm the interests of people in Tibet."
"We hope he no longer uses religion and believers as a tool to pursue his political intention," the Living Buddha said.
China, a country with five major religions including Catholics, Protestant, Buddhism, Islam and Taoism, has more than 100 million believers of various religions.
In Tibet alone, there are more than 1,700 religious sites for Tibetan Buddhism that accommodate 460,000 monks and nuns, four mosques with 3,000 Muslims, as well as a Catholic church for 700 believers.
However, the Dalai Lama said Tibet's religion, along with culture, language and identity, is nearing extinction in his Tuesday speech.
"We won't buy the Dalai Lama's words. What we need to do now is to safeguard the achievements in Tibet over the past decades," said Jin Wei, acting general secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association of China National and also a CPPCC National Committee member.
"The Chinese central government is criticized by some people for abolishing serfdom in Tibet, but Abraham Lincoln is revered for emancipating black slaves. That's really unfair," Jin said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 12, 2009)