By Dean Nelson/ Sunday Telegraph –
In an exclusive interview with this week’s Sunday Telegraph, the 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner, revealed he had been passed reports from inside Tibet warning that Chinese agents had trained Tibetan women for a mission to poison him while posing as devotees seeking his blessings.
The Tibetan Buddhist leader said he lives within a high security cordon in his temple palace grounds in Dharamsala, in the Himalayan foothills, on the advice of Indian security officials.
Despite being one of the world’s most widely revered spiritual leaders he has enemies in China and among some Buddhist sects.
His aides had not been able to confirm the reports, but they had highlighted his need for high security.
“We received some sort of information from Tibet,” he said. “Some Chinese agents training some Tibetans, especially women, you see, using poison – the hair poisoned, and the scarf poisoned – they were supposed to seek blessing from me, and my hand touch.”
Relations between China and the Tibetan government-in-exile in India are poor and mutual suspicion high following more than 30 self-immolations in the last year by Tibetans in protest at Chinese moves to marginalise their language and culture.
He said suspicion of Chinese interference in finding his reincarnation following his death meant he may be the last Dalai Lama and that Tibetans could decided to abandon the institution.
A number of young Buddhist monks, including the Karmapa Lama, could emerge as the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, he said.
Despite frosty relations with Beijing, he said he believes China will change its hardline stance within his lifetime and adopt democratic reforms to safeguard its economic growth.
He said Chinese leaders should use Buddhist logic to overcome their suspicion and anger, but confessed he struggles to control his own temper.
He said: “Advisers, secretaries, other people around me, when they make some little, little mistake, then sometimes I burst. Oh yes! Anger and shout! Oh! And some harsh words. But that remains a few minutes, then finished.”
Although he sometimes regrets such behaviour, he believes it is occasionally good for “correction.”
The Dalai Lama will be in Britain tomorrow to receive the £1.1 million Templeton Prize at St Paul’s Cathedral for his championing of science as a vital element of religious life.
Read the full interview in tomorrow’s Sunday Telegraph