At the request of guests Kalmykia delegation arrived in order to exchange views with their Russian counterparts on the Tibet issue, and religious affairs, and to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between the parties. Visit to the Republic of Kalmykia, and visit the main Buddhist temple “Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni“, was initiated by the Chinese side.
The delegation of China were Syanmin Lien, director of the Institute of Contemporary China Tibetology Research Center in Beijing, Ma Shencha, director of Tibetan Association for International Exchange; Tsyzhentszyabu, director of the Institute of Religious Tibetan Academy of Sciences; Gong Qiong, deputy chairman of the Buddhist Society of Lhasa, Liu Maoyan in the Press State Council Information Office of China, Su Lei, translator Foreign Ministry, as well as representatives of the Embassy of China in Russia.
With Kalmyk delegation was met rector of the Central China khurul Kalmykia “Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni” Lobsang Tsundu, khurul Buddhist lamas, as well as representatives of the centralized religious organization “Association of Buddhist Kalmykia”, heads of Buddhist centers in the country.
During the tour of the temple “Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni” Chinese guests was a detailed account of the centuries-old historical, cultural and spiritual ties Kalmyk and Tibetan people’s deep faith in the Kalmyk people, His Holiness the Dalai Lama – the Buddhist spiritual leader.
At the request of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and China at the end of tour, a meeting, during which the parties had an opportunity to exchange views on issues of common interest. The main question raised by Buddhist organizations and the public Kalmykia, referred to the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the Buddhist region of Russia. Russian Buddhists said that is the question the organization of the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Russia by the issues of greatest importance, and obstacles with Chinese colleagues in this issue will never find understanding in Buddhist regions of Russia.
The transcript of the meeting:
Tsyzhentszyabu (Director of the Institute of Religious Tibetan Academy of Sciences): “I’m from the Institute for the Study of Religion at the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences. We attach great importance to research in the field of religion, or rather in the field of Tibetan Buddhism. Our Institute was founded in 1980 and in 1985, we shared, we can say have discovered three more areas in the field of research.
First, we study the local Bon religion. Second, we study the history of Tibetan Buddhism. Third: The study is the philosophical theory of Tibetan Buddhism.
As I said, one of the directions of our research is the study of Tibetan Buddhism. About the Gelug-pa. We in Tibet is very famous monastery called “Drepung”. And we published a special book about the history and development of this monastery. Also published a book on the history of the monastery Sera. In our institute has twelve researchers, they generally study the main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. For example, my direction Kagyu-pa. My work is to be completed this year. We completed an important project for the publication of books on all aspects of Tibetan Buddhism Gelug-pa-pa Kagyu, Sakya-pa, pa-nigma and even the local Bon religion.
I come from the western region of Tibet, the region [Ngari] and so once wrote a book about the history of the area, how the local people once settled there and formed.
In the future, I think, to strengthen our exchanges, we can send by mail already published materials for research at our institute.
I think that would be very good if you have the opportunity to visit Tibet and communicate with the local scientific community, and in order to make pilgrimages, etc. “…
Elbikov Khongor, Representative Association of Buddhists of Kalmykia: Here I have a question immediately. Last year, our group of pilgrims from Kalmykia planned to visit Tibet, and for some reason they were not allowed. Was purchased by a tour through a travel agency. They lost money, then made a search of the tourists is from Kalmykia. Here the presence of representatives of the embassy in the past or the year before … It is not clear what causes this may be, it was a simple pilgrims, ordinary people. Wanted to see, just to see Tibet.
Tsyzhentszyabu, director of the Institute of Religious Tibetan Academy of Sciences: “We are pushing scientific exchanges with our scientific colleagues, but before that, before this exchange takes place, we used to conclude an agreement on cooperation and scientific exchange. And only then begin concrete steps to exchange. Of course, we are prepared to do so with our Russian colleagues. I just very briefly, I spoke about our research activities, if there are questions I can answer them. ”
Elbikov Khongor, Representative Association of Buddhists of Kalmykia: Since I’m here with colleagues representing community organizations, then, using the case – the fact that there are representatives of the Embassy of the People’s Republic, I would like to ask the following question. What is your opinion on the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Russia? This is a very topical issue. I can not announce it. When I get beyond this khurul, the public – especially the elderly – will ask me, what is your opinion about the visit of the Dalai Lama.
Syanmin Lien, director of the Institute of Contemporary Chinese Tibetology Research Center in Beijing:
– You have just asked two questions, let me answer your questions. As soon as my colleagues have told you, we attach great importance to the research – Tibetology. As you know, Tibet, Tibet Autonomous Region is one of the five autonomous regions in China, enjoying special privileges in China. Of course, for a visit to the region, you must first obtain the consent of the people’s government of the Autonomous District, the district …
As for the question of the acceptance or refusal of any trip to delegations, these matters are dealt with by the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region. This reflected their unique privileges and so on.
As we all know, Tibet is at a very high altitude and environmental conditions there are not good, you can say, even harsh. Therefore, based on the state of health of these tourists, we are sometimes, of course, refuses requests to some tourists. We should also take into account a very important point, given the fact that the Tibetan Autonomous Region is a relatively economically depressed areas of China.
There are very limited opportunities to receive delegations from all over the world, so sometimes we just have to give up some of the applications for tourist groups.
And the Tibet Autonomous Region has special privileges, and the central government is also very attentive to their wishes, opinions and needs. And then, as Mr. Tsyzhentszyabu said: “If you want to go to Tibet for scientific exchange, it is better still to conclude agreements with the Chinese side in the person of his institute and after that it will be much easier to get there.”
Regarding your second question about the visit of the Dalai Lama XIV to the Republic of Kalmykia. I’m a scientist so I think that, as you know, since 1959, the Dalai Lama XIV, left his country, moved to India, where he has remained ever since.
And as you know, after the Dalai Lama XIV moved to India, instead of religious activity, for a long time engaged in political affairs, under his leadership, was also created so-called “Tibetan government in exile abroad.” And it takes a very high position in the government.
Simply because of his political activities have seriously harmed the interests of China in the field of security, so we are against his political activities against the interests of China.
Because of this we are against foreign visits of the Dalai Lama XIV to other countries for this purpose.
I think the Dalai Lama XIV should be responsible for all sorts of inconveniences and difficulties in order to make a visit abroad, including in Russia, the Republic of Kalmykia.
As far as I know, in the current constitution so-called “government in exile” provides that the Dalai Lama XIV is still the supreme head of the administration of the government. This is forcing the Dalai Lama XIV to continue his political activities.
I personally think that the political ambitions of the Dalai Lama XIV limit its activities to other areas.
You know, in fact, the central government of China encourages the strengthening of scientific exchanges between the Buddhist Association of China and their foreign partners.
I think that the strengthening of exchanges between the Republic of Kalmykia and the Tibet Autonomous Region only served to stimulate and strengthen the interaction and cooperation between the two regions in the field of Tibetan Buddhism.
Elbikov Khongor, Representative Association of Buddhists of Kalmykia: I would like to say a few words. I casually asked the question. The question really worries the public and not just Kalmykia, but three Buddhist republics of Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia.
There are Transbaikal region, home to Buddhists, there are Buddhist community centers in major Russian cities.
When we talk about the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Russia, a traditional Buddhist regions, we are talking about a religious visit. We’re not talking political visit, but above all on a pastoral visit, religious. This is a very important point.
And as I said, for the older generation in the three traditional republics is very important to meet with our spiritual teacher, our leader.
The question of the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Russia – it is a matter of vital interests, particularly the older generation, and the younger generation of our people, in the tradition of which this religion (Buddhism) has always been, the institution of the Dalai Lama has always been, and I think and in the future it will also be. Therefore, this issue is very important!
And I want to say that we are familiar with the situation in Tibet, with the activities of the Dalai Lama. We know that he took off his political powers. Now it is only a spiritual leader.
We know the position of His Holiness the Dalai Lama against Credinnogo way in addressing the issue of Tibet, we are aware of this situation.
I do not want to argue with a colleague, but I am grateful for the fact that he openly expresses his opinion. It is important that this communication was sincere.
We say that we – brothers that we are friends, so, if we think we are brothers, we can ask questions and receive answers. You can comment on what I said?
Syanmin Lien, director of the Institute of Contemporary Chinese Tibetology Research Center in Beijing:
Yes, indeed, I agree with you that true friends communicate by sincere and honest way. Indeed, China and Russia – friendly neighbors and strategic partners. Hand, of course, will take full account of the interests and concerns of each other when deciding important issues. Of course, the Central Government appreciates the views and comments of the Tibet Autonomous Region on certain issues.
In fact, the line of the Central Government on the issue of the Dalai Lama XIV is unchanged over the years, so we are interested in strengthening the communication between our people that we have laid a solid foundation for mutual understanding between our peoples.
Khongor Elbikov, Representative Association of Buddhists of Kalmykia: After all, you, dear, agree that the possible visit of the Dalai Lama in the Buddhist regions of Russia? Religious visit. Without any political agenda. I have agreed. In 2004, when His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Kalmykia, it is clear that the analysis was conducted of the visit, there was not one moment that will be talked about the political component. It was a purely religious visit. And the example of 2004 says that no politics in it is not present. It was an extremely religious visit. I will tell people your position, and I am very grateful that you are responsible.
Syanmin Lien, director of the Institute of Contemporary Chinese Tibetology Research Center in Beijing: I think that, maybe, just that you did not accurately understand me. I would say that based on the fact that the Dalai Lama should distance themselves from politics, he himself, the initiative in the hands of his own – the Dalai Lama XIV, we think so.
I think if the Dalai Lama XIV to admit that Tibet has long been an integral territory of China, and that Taiwan is also an inseparable part of China and if he will also be able to publicly express willingness to stop separatist activities, I think, nevertheless, that for it will be able to return to the mainstream of dialogue and negotiation with the Central Government …
Z. G. Antonova, Buddhist center “Chenrezig”: We are Buddhists, we believe that everything in this world is changing. We are pleased to hear that great changes have taken place in Tibet Autonomous Region, which is developing Buddhism, literature. We were very pleased.
Can we say about myself? In Russia, 70 years old religion was banned, and it seemed it was finally. It is time for twenty years, we were allowed to engage in religion. Buddhism is young, he was twenty years old, but not easy for us. Burned all khurul, the literature, and in fact we were starting from scratch. This provides a great help to us the Dalai Lama and our love for our leader of Buddhism. We are far from politics, we are not interested in politics. China and Russia have been on friendly terms, we remember it. But we have a lot of older people who would like to see the death of their leader. They have little interest in Chinese relations, they are interested in Buddhist leader, that he came to us.
As my colleague said, when in 2004 the leader of Buddhism came to us, neither of which policy was no talk … There was one religion. I do not want to delve into these matters, I should acknowledge His Holiness … Of course, a little painful to us that the deity, the Buddha (Buddha, we believe it is) it should recognize or that. We consider him a Buddha and the Buddha said, you have to admit it and it hurt us. But we would like you to come to our meeting. We have so many seniors who would like to see the death of the Dalai Lama. Help us, you are our brothers.
Did our grandmothers and the arrival of His Holiness will harm China? Here the representatives of the Foreign Ministry, reports that we have no animosity towards China, the foundations of China’s unwavering. We cherish the love for the Chinese people, and we had a particular love for the Tibetan people … We always say that the patron of China – Manjushri, god of wisdom. But be wise.
Syanmin Lien, director of the Institute of Contemporary Chinese Tibetology Research Center in Beijing: I think I have just enough set out its position. Initiative in the hands of the Dalai Lama. If he decides to move away from political activity, he would have had more opportunity to operate in other countries. In my opinion, you as a fan of the Dalai Lama might pass through your channel, so that it is separated from politics. Because he’s already 14 of the Dalai Lama, his predecessors worked well in these matters.