BODH GAYA, January 4: In a rare meeting with his own people from across the Himalayas, Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama yesterday offered advice and suggestions to counter the many social and environmental problems plaguing Tibet. Around 8000 Tibetans from Tibet are attending the ten-day Kalachakra teachings in Bodh Gaya.
At a special audience, the Dalai Lama, who has been living in exile since he was forced to flee his country in 1959, urged his people to plant trees around their houses and monasteries in Tibet. The Dalai Lama also spoke out on nomad rights, “Instead of forcefully resettling them, building of hospitals and schools for the nomads around their grazing areas would be more constructive,” the Dalai Lama said.
Beijing is using climate change as the final argument for the forced settlement 2.5 million Tibetan nomads, blaming them for damaging the vulnerable grasslands by overgrazing. Over 1.4 million nomads have already been relocated into reservation-style concrete housing blocks, these homes are bleak and isolated housing settlements where they can not keep their animals and continue their traditional way of life.
Under a false claim of “environmental protection,” China is clearing the land to make way for destructive dams and lucrative mining operations. Scientists have shown that nomads’ traditional grazing patterns actually help to mitigate the impact of climate change on the plateau.
Tibetan nomads’ very way of life is inherently connected to the land. Aimed at tightening its colonial grip over Tibet, China’s policy is a death sentence for Tibetan nomads a way of life that has been maintained, sustainably, for centuries.