Renovation of Dalai Lama's Childhood Home in China Draws Anger

Fears of lost Tibetan culture


The Chinese town where the Dalai Lama was born is undergoing huge redevelopment, and behind a mountain the exiled spiritual leader's family home has received a makeover of its own, with a three-metre wall and security cameras installed.

The building in Hongai village, at the summit of a towering peak, is the only place in China dedicated to the man Beijing considers a violent separatist and a "wolf in monk's robes".

But the house has become a symbol of China's bitterly divisive policy in Tibetan regions following its 2.5 million yuan ($400,000) refurbishment, amid concern from international rights groups over the scale and speed of Tibetan housing and relocation programmes.

"This is not modernisation but Sinofication," Tibetan poet and activist Tsering Woeser told AFP.