Beijing: A state-run Chinese daily Monday dismissed Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama's claim that China was trying to poison him to death using female devotees, and described his accusation as "something you would find in a martial arts novel".

Global Times Monday ran an article "Dalai assassination claims mind-boggling" after the Tibetan spiritual leader told Sunday Telegraph that he had received reports from inside Tibet warning about some Chinese agents training Tibetan women for a mission to poison him.

"We received some sort of information from Tibet," he was quoted as saying. "Some Chinese agents training some Tibetans, especially women, you see, using poison - the hair poisoned, and the scarf poisoned - they were supposed to seek blessings from me, and my hand touch," he added.

The Chinese daily wondered "why did the Dalai Lama decide to openly speak of this unconfirmed information? He spread the information of this kind at his pleasure, even more enthusiastically than the other ordinary Tibetan monks in exile".

In a veiled warning, the daily said: "Let's put it simply: If the central government wanted to `eliminate' the Dalai Lama, why has it waited for such a long time? Isn't it foolish to take action against Dalai at such an old age?" It said the Dalai Lama's assassination plot is "more like something you would find in a martial arts novel".

"Revealing such unreliable information, the Dalai appears to have become mixed up in his old age," it added. The Tibetan spiritual leader is now 76.The daily feared that he "could use his claims as an excuse for any diseases he has in the future. Even if he dies of a normal illness, the speculation would be that he was poisoned".

Stating that the country has "never assassinated its political opponents in exile", the daily said: "China won't change its practice and principles for the Dalai."It wrapped up, saying: "Let the Dalai live his life. His existence is not a crisis for China. He is a problem, but one that China can well afford to ignore.

"The Dalai Lama fled Tibet along with many of his supporters and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.India is home to around 100,000 Tibetans. The Tibetan government-in-exile is based here, but not recognised by any country.



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