China decides against inviting Dalai Lama

Zee News, April 13, 2006

Beijing, China -- China has decided not to invite Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama to the first world Buddhist forum to be held from today in the country's east, saying his presence would have posed a "disharmonious" element to the meeting.

"In my opinion, if he appears at the forum, he will surely pose a really disharmonious note to the general harmonious tone of the forum," vice president of the China religious culture communication association Qi Xiaofei said yesterday, when asked why Dalai Lama was not invited for the April 13-16 event in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province.

The main purpose of the forum was to provide an equal, diversified and open platform for dialogue between all those who love all living creatures, protect and care for the Buddhism, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

"We welcome any form of exchanges, but we won't give Dalai Lama any chance to disharmonise the forum," he said.

"What we need here and now is dialogue rather than confrontation," he said, claiming that judging from Dailai Lama's past activities, he might bring about harm to the "harmony" theme of the forum.

Qi alleged that Dalai Lama was not only a religious figure but also a long-time "secessionist".

His comments comes days after a senior Chinese official said Beijing can consider a visit by the Dalai Lama.

"It is not impossible for us to consider his visit" provided the Dalai Lama completely abandons Tibetan independence, Ye Xiaowen, who heads state administration for religious affairs, had said.

Ye said the Dalai Lama "has failed to deliver a clear message on his stance," but added, "we can discuss it (the trip by Dalai Lama)."