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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Chinese 'childish' for opposing visit

October 31, 2007

Toronto Sun
30 October 2007
Sipping a Styrofoam cup of salty Tibetan butter tea, Tenzin Gethoktsang can't help but speak out against the Chinese government's fierce opposition to the Canadian
visit of the Dalai Lama, who arrives in Toronto today.

"They play very outdated politics, and it's very childish and stupid," said Gethoktsang, a Toronto resident whose father is head of the Dalai Lama's security staff. "It's
very childish. In a way it hurts them, (because) the Dalai Lama gets more popular."

Gethoktsang condemned the Chinese government's relentless claim that Tibet has always been a part of China.

"I'm not Chinese -- come on," Gethoktsang said.

Volunteers were scrambling yesterday to fix up and decorate the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre, an Etobicoke warehouse that will soon become a community
centre for the 4,000 or so local Tibetans.

Tomorrow morning, the Dalai Lama will arrive to give a ceremonial blessing to the centre and speak to the expected audience of more than 3,000.

After arriving in Toronto today, the Dalai Lama will face reporters in a 4 p.m. press conference at the Royal York Hotel.

Gethoktsang, 39, a former press officer in the Tibetan Government-In-Exile in Dharamsala, India, said the community is very excited to have the 14th Dalai Lama,
who hasn't been back to Tibet since he fled to India in 1959.

"He has sacrificed everything in his work for us," Gethoktsang said of the Tibetan spiritual leader.

Tashi Nangsetsang, 39, said the renovation and construction work on the $3.5-million facility near Islington Ave. and The Queensway has had to be rushed because
the Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario (CTAO) only got the keys for the cavernous building not even two weeks ago, on Oct. 17.

"The whole community is excited about it," Nangsetsang said. "It's the first time the Tibetan community has a place to call its own. It's our place."

Jitung Lama, 69, who fled Tibet in 1959, and like the Dalai Lama, has never been back since, said yesterday that words can't describe how happy he is over the
Dalai Lama's meeting officially with the Canadian prime minister.

Tsedon Jamatsang, 48, another organizer with the CTAO, added, "I want whatever His Holiness Dalai Lama wants. I trust him. He's the god-king of Tibet. He
(does) the best not only for Tibetans, best for all living things."

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