The exiled spiritual leader of six million Tibetans, the Dalai Lama, has no immediate plans to return to his country, despite a new spirit of religious toleration there.
RECENT - TIBET (AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING COMMISSION) (MUTE)
GV Potala Palace in Lhasa.
GV Warrior herdsmen on horseback showing skills to crowd. (6 SHOTS)
SVs Market place. (5 SHOTS)
SV & GV Pilgrims. (2 SHOTS)
SV Pilgrim prostrating himself.
GV Opera being performed in tent. (7 SHOTS)
SEPTEMBER 27, 1982 - ROME, ITALY (FERRARIO) (SOUND)
GV EXTERIOR St. Anselmo monastery.
SV INTERIOR Dalai Lama speaking at press conference. (English SOT)
TRANSCRIPT: DALAI LAMA: (SEQ 8) "... about my return, nothing important. The important thing is about peoples' welfare. So things are improving, it is still far from complete successes. So when things are becoming really genuinely satisfactory then most of the Tibetan refugees will return, including myself." (AS HEARD)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The exiled spiritual leader of six million Tibetans, the Dalai Lama, has no immediate plans to return to his country, despite a new spirit of religious toleration there. The Buddhist leader, who has lived in self-imposed exile in India since 1959 is currently on a tour of Europe which has taken in visits to Italy and Vatican City where he had an audience with Pope John Paul. Back in Tibet, the Potala palace in Lhasa where the Dalai Lama used to live has remained unoccupied since he went into exile. The warrior herdsmen who resisted the Chinese intervention in 1959 have now accepted the impossibility of expelling the Chinese by force and use their skills at horsemanship to entertain the crowds. The free market in the old town of Lhasa is also reviving, and with it is a brisk demand for traditional products such as yak butter. Pilgrims have returned in their hundreds to the city to prostrate themselves in front of holy shrines. The most devout make a complete circle of Lhasa making prostrations at every step. There is also room for traditional opera in a more open Tibet, where restrictions on religion have been relaxed. Speaking at a news conference in Rome on September 27, the Dalai Lama said that while conditions were improving in Tibet it would only be when conditions are completely satisfactory, that he and other Tibetan refugees would return.