Russian Buddhists renew request for Dalai Lama's visit


GovoritMoskva, 18 November 2020


The last time the spiritual leader was in Russia was 2004. After that, the foreign affairs ministry refused him a visit, citing the friendly relations with China and the shared common position on Tibet.


This was described for Govorit Moskva by the chairwoman of the Moscow community of Buddhists, Dulma Shagdarova. In her opinion, the rights of adherents of their religion in Russia are being infringed. Buddhists in our country have been awaiting for a long time a visit with the Dalai Lama, Shgadarova said.


"The extent to which a visit is possible is decided by M.I.D. [Ministry of Foreign Affairs]. We have always made such a request. That question always comes up. We [Buddhists—G.M.] are being deprived of our rights. The Dalai Lama's visit is being prohibited for political reasons, although we invite him as a religious figure. This is a great problem. We have traveled to India and Latvia in order to listen to his teachings. Unfortunately, this question is not fully resolved. We would hope that this situation would change. There still is no movement. We will hope for better."


Chinese authorities consider Dalai Lama XIV to be a "Tibetan separatist" and "political exile," who wishes to split the country. Tibet became a part of China in 1950. After the Tibetan uprising against Chinese authorities in 1959, the Dalai Lama was forced to flee to India, where he was given asylum. In that country he created the Tibetan government-in-exile for fighting for the independence of that territory. In 2011 the leader of the Buddhists completely distanced himself from political affairs. In 2012 he said that he advocates the autonomous democratic existence of Tibet as a part of the Chinese People's Republic.


At the Seliger Forum 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin, responding to a participant's question about the Dalai Lama's visit, promised "to work in that direction." (tr. by PDS, posted 19 November 2020)

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