left corner left corner
China Daily Website

'Against human nature'

Updated: 2013-10-16 01:17
By ZHOU WA ( China Daily)

Dalai Lama 'separated' Tibetan children from parents: report

Leaving behind loved ones is one of the eight sufferings of human beings, according to Buddhism.

So separating a family is often the last thing one would do.

But the Dalai Lama forced hundreds of children to leave their parents and be adopted by foreign families in the 1960s, Swiss media have reported.

The Foreign Ministry and experts described the move, which aimed to nurture talent for his "Tibet independence" movement, as "against human nature".

"The stories in the Swiss media showed how the Dalai Lama and his clique fabricated so-called orphans and sent them to Switzerland," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Tuesday. "He caused hundreds of families to be torn apart."

"His deeds have trampled on the children's rights and violated common ethics and morality."

On Sept 11, the Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung published a story about how the Dalai Lama and Swiss businessman Charles Aeschimann arranged to take about 200 Tibetan children to Switzerland in the 1960s.

The Dalai Lama called for US and European families to adopt Tibetan children after he fled to India following a failed armed rebellion. Aeschimann helped take about 200 Tibetan children to Switzerland.

The Dalai Lama told the Swiss public that the children were all orphans, but only 19 of them were. Some of the children were even forced to go to the Switzerland without their parents' knowledge, the newspaper reported.

The Dalai Lama hoped the children could gain a good education in Switzerland and come back to his "government in exile", the report said.

But many of those children have been suffering from psychological sickness due to parting from their parents at a young age, it said.

Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said the Dalai Lama aimed to use Switzerland to train successors for his cause of "Tibet independence".

Neue Zuercher Zeitung's report came after Swiss director Ueli Meier made the documentary Tibi and His Mothers in 2012. The protagonist of the film was one of the 200 Tibetan children, sent to Switzerland in 1963 when he was 7.

"In the process of making the documentary, my sense of absurdness got stronger. Here is a mismatched timeline, there is a suspicious document," Meier told Neue Zuercher Zeitung in an interview.

"By the end of the shooting in India, I was told by the birth mother of our protagonist that Tibi was, without her knowledge and without her agreement, sent to Switzerland."

Meier said Tibi's love for his original family could not be replaced by his Swiss foster mother Ruth Graber's tender care and devotion, and so Tibi embarked on a journey to find his real parents.

But when he came back from his family reunion in India, he felt at a loss, because he found that his birth mother will never be able to understand him.

Meier told Neue Zuercher Zeitung that of the 200 children, Tibi was one of the lucky ones.

According to research by the University of Zurich in 1982, among all Tibetan children who have grown up in Switzerland, suicide happens only among those 200 children, the newspaper said.


Wang Huazhong in Lhasa and He Liu in Beijing contributed to this story.

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.