Rail link bringing AIDS, beggars to Tibet: Dalai Lama
Jan 31, 2007, 17:25 GMT
New Delhi - The new rail link between Lhasa and China was bringing beggars and prostitutes into Tibet and destroying the region's Buddhist culture, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said in the western Indian town of Mumbai Wednesday, according to reports.
'Beggars and the handicapped are coming to Lhasa in huge numbers. China is also forcing prostitutes to go to Lhasa, leading to the increased danger of AIDS,' the Dalai Lama said at a religious gathering, IANS news agency reported.
He termed the 1,142-kilometre railway link the 'second invasion of Tibet.'
'In the past few months alone, some 5,000 to 6,000 Chinese have come to Tibet by rail and only 2,000-3,000 have gone back. Those job-seekers who are finding it difficult to get jobs in China are heading for Lhasa,' he said.
He said Beijing was also forcing poor villagers to relocate in Tibet. 'We are also concerned over the environmental impact of the rail link,' he said.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur