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Last updated: February 1, 2003

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Neo-Buddhists begin indefinite fast against the Dalai Lama

PTI Thursday, January 09, 2003 BODH GAYA, January 9 - Barely three days before the sacred Kalchakra puja, a group of 12 neo-Buddhists today began a fast-unto-death near the Mahabodhi temple here against the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama's alleged pro-China bias.

The Buddhists led by Bhante Anand, general secretary of Buddha Gaya Mahabodhi Vihar All India Action Committee, began their fast this afternoon to demand expulsion of the Dalai Lama and the 17th karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje for their alleged pro-China bias.

They also said that followers of the Dalai Lama were "hurting" Indian sensibilities by wearing shoes in the Mahabodhi temple sanctum sanctorum.

Anand said the recent statement of Dalai Lama that the question of Tibetan autonomy could be resolved under the Chinese constitution showed his pro-China leanings.

If it is so, he should leave India with his followers to spare the country the economic burden it has to bear in providing security and shelter to him and the Karmapa, Anand said in a statement.

The Chinese maintain that Tibet is like the palm of a hand and Ladakh, Lahaul-Spiti, Darjeeling, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim are like its five fingers....What will happen if China wants to extend its hegemony to these five fingers," he said. Anand said the fast-unto-death would continue until the two were asked by the Indian government to leave the country.

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Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.