17 Apr 2010
DHARAMSHALA: The Dalai Lama appealed to Beijing on Saturday to allow him to visit a mainly ethnic Tibetan area of China hit by a deadly earthquake, saying he wanted to comfort the victims.
"To fulfil the wishes of many of the people there, I am eager to go there myself to offer them comfort," the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said in a statement issued from Dharamshala, his home in exile in northern India.
The Buddhist monk was born in remote western Qinghai province, where the quake struck on Wednesday, killing at least 1,144 people and injuring more than 11,000 others.
The Dalai Lama, who denies Beijing's accusations that he is seeking independence for Tibet, has been living in India since fleeing his homeland after a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule.