by Xinhua Writer Wu Qiang
BEIJING, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Dalai Lama' s recent terrorist-sympathizing remarks have again shocked the world, and provided for those in the West who used to exchange backing him for selfish political gains a chance to see the monk's true colors.
The fugitive Tibetan religious leader is now in France for a six-day visit "to promote Tibetan culture, language and ecological protection," as he has claimed.
It is not the first time the monk has made such a highly controversial remark, which has been savagely criticized in Europe and the wider world.
His call for Europe to take in refugees without conditions has also irritated many in the continent, who blame him for being purely hypocritical and totally devoid of common sense. That provides a good enough reason for Paris to shun him.
It is reported that no high ranking French officials, including President Francis Hollande, have plans to meet him. His itinerary was restricted to Paris and Strasbourg, while his audiences were limited to local residential Tibetans, some lawyers and religious leaders, as well as a small number of lawmakers.
Although the Dalai Lama has for long claimed to have abandoned politics and only focus on protecting the Tibetan culture, language and ecology, he devoted his visit to France to mainly spreading his political ideas in a bid to maintain influence.
In an interview with AFP, the Dalai Lama said the purpose of his visit was to meet people rather than shaking hands with the country's leaders.
But if one compares the Dalai Lama's current visit with his previous visits to France, it is easy to see his influence in the West has shrunk rapidly.
It is worth noting that the Dalai Lama, who has been living in India for decades, has never uttered one word about the rampant poverty in that country. On the contrary, he has often caused division and trouble in the Himalayan region and helped stunt economic and social development there.
Moreover, despite his repeated denial, the Dalai Lama has been trying to split Tibet from China.
It is never a secret that some Western politicians have treated the Dalai Lama as a tool to criticize China over its Tibetan policy so as to score cheap political points at home. With his shocking comments, the monk has become for them more of a political burden than an asset. It is also a fine opportunity for the Western governments to start thinking about what kind of relations they should have with the Dalai Lama in the future.
The choice between backing a separatist and terrorist-sympathizer and working with China on the basis of respecting its territorial integrity is not that difficult to make after all.