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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Karan Thapar of CNN-IBN interviews His Holiness the Dalai Lama

November 22, 2010

19 November 2010

New Delhi: His Holiness the Dalai Lama was interviewed this morning by journalist Karan Thapar on his popular Devil’s Advocate programme on CNN-IBN news channel. The interview will be aired at 8 pm (IST) on 21 November.

Asked about the official attempts to marginalise Tibetan language in favour of Chinese in Tibetan area of Qinghai province, His Holiness said around 1986, the previous 10th Panchen Lama, the late Ngabo Ngawang Jigme and other officials of the Tibet Autonomous Region after some meetings decided to make Tibetan the official language in Tibet. This decision led to some very encouraging developments in reviving some classical Tibetan texts but that ended after Chen Kuiyuan, a well-known hardliner became the party chief of TAR. Chen called Tibetan Buddhism a threat. Some Tibetans who worked for the Tibet University in Lhasa recently met Holiness and told him how after Chen’s arrival, translations were done mainly from Chinese texts and not Tibetan. His Holiness said some Tibetans he met told him some kind of “semi-cultural revolution” is taking place in Tibet and Tibetan language might well get wiped out soon.

Thapar then mentioned the recent October-end regulations announced in Tibet to tighten official hold on Tibetan monasteries. The regulations which became
operational 1 November 010 forbid, among others, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries
and monks to keep contact with outsiders.

His Holiness said he has heard that many monasteries in Tibet are becoming more like museums and monks just caretakers. For the last 20 years, His Holiness said he has been hearing that intentionally or unintentionally, some kind of cultural genocide is taking place in Tibet. “But we need more research work to confirm this,” he said.

Thapar asked what Tibetans were doing to fight the threats posed to their language and culture to which His Holiness replied, “by asking for genuine autonomy in People’s Republic of China.”

The interview focussed heavily on His Holiness’ thoughts on the reincarnation process of the Dalai Lama institution and the possible successor to the current Dalai Lama.

Suhel Seth, co-founder of Equus advertising agency, asked the Dalai Lama on his "succession planning".

To this the Tibetan leader said with a laugh, "It isn't a serious question to me. But the Communist government is looking at it very seriously… It's for the Tibetan people to decide… If I die in the next few days, they may want to continue with the institution of the Dalai Lama. But if it's 20, 30 years later, who knows?"
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