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Last updated: February 1, 2003

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Tibetans to propagate cause at Kalchakra festival By Imran Khan, Indo-Asian News Service Patna, Jan 11 (IANS): More than the religious aspect, Tibetans plan to utilise the annual Kalchakra festival here to propagate their cause and expose the "real" face of China to the world.

The Tibetan government in exile headed by the Dalai Lama plans to highlight China's oppression of the Tibetans during the nine-day festival that began Saturday, an official of its department of information and international relations said.

"We will use the Kalchakra festival to propagate our cause by distributing booklets, pamphlets and photographs and screening documentary films," the official said.

The festival is held at Bodh Gaya, 110 km from here, where the Buddha attained enlightenment 2,500 years ago.

Some half a million Buddhists from across the world are expected to attend the festival, at which the Dalai Lama will lead special prayers.

A large quantity of publicity material has been brought here from Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, the headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile.

"The material is in both English and Tibetan languages," the official said.

He said the Kalchakra festival provided the ideal opportunity for Tibetans to further their cause, particularly among the large number of foreigners who will be attending the event.

"It is the most convenient way for Tibetans to narrate their tale of woes before a largely sympathetic audience," the official said.

A 38-page booklet titled "Beijing needs the Dalai Lama for peace and stability in Tibet", which will be distributed during the festival, contends that Tibet cannot be governed without the Dalai Lama's participation.

"The basic flaw in China's new policy in its search to solve the problem of Tibet is the thinking that the solution can exclude the involvement of the Dalai Lama.

The other flaw is the attempt to solve the problem over the heads of Tibet's citizens," the booklet states.

The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following an abortive anti-China uprising.

India is also home to some 100,000 Tibetans.

The Dalai Lama's government in exile is not recognised by any country.

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