New Delhi, Nov 30: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama today attended the four-day congregation of Buddhist monks and scholars that triggered a diplomatic row between India and China and led to the postponement of border talks.
Joining the conference organised by Asoka Mission on the last day, the Dalai Lama refused to comment on Chinese objections to his presence at the religious event.
He restricted his discourse to issues pertaining to Buddhism and peace in line with assertions from his office that the meet was a purely religious event with no political connotations.
“It is a political question. No comments,” he told journalists on the sidelines of the event after a press conference scheduled to be held by him was called off at the last minute without any reasons being given.
He was responding to a question on Chinese accusations that India provided him the platform for participating in this conference of Buddhist monks.
Sources suggested that the Dalai Lama did not answer the “political question” since he feels political issues related to Tibet can now be answered only by the elected leader of the exiled community.
The Buddhist congregation, the first-of-its-kind to take place in the country, that began on Sunday was a source of latest friction between India and China as New Delhi's reluctance to call off the meet led Beijing to postpone the border talks which were to be held last Monday.
While China treats the Tibetan spiritual leader as persona non grata, New Delhi has maintained that he is respectable religious leader and in a democratic country there is no restriction on freedom of speech.
Addressing the valedictory session, the Dalai Lama rued that the “quality” of Buddhist monks is deteriorating as they don't themselves don't follow what they preach to others.
“I must say that the quality is deteriorating among Buddhist monks. How will you teach others when you don't follow what the Buddha stood for. If you are right, Buddha will be with you, otherwise not,” he said.