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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

I am a free spokesperson of the Tibetan people -- the Dalai Lama

August 15, 2008

by Tenam
Phayul
August 13, 2008

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his French interpretor Matthieu
Ricard, at press briefing in Paris, France. Wednesday, 13 August
2008, photo: Tenam

Paris, Wednesday, 13 August -- His Holiness the Dalai Lama said
Wednesday that more than a leader of the Tibetan people he is the
free spokesperson of the Tibetan people.
Referring to the protest across Tibet recently, His Holiness said
that as "the Dalai Lama I have a moral responsibility to convey the
message" of the Tibetan people living in occupied Tibet. The recent
protest clearly expressed "deep-seated resentment of the Tibetan
people," he added.

Reiterating his three commitments of promoting human values,
promoting understanding between various religious tradition, and
working for Tibetan people, he said that he is now "semi-retired" and
that the daily political decisions are taken by elected leaders in exile.

Reflecting on being in exile since 1959, His Holiness said that he
has gained a lot of experience and has been able to enjoy freedom of
expression, freedom of movement etc, yet the Tibetan people in Tibet
have faced "immense sufferings in the past half a century and that
saddens" him.

When asked about the closed door session at the French Senate, His
Holiness said that it is for the Senate to answer. The French Senate
President has come under lot of criticism for his decision to exclude
the press from today's Senate meeting.

Answering a query about the status of the contacts with the Chinese
government, His Holiness said that the envoys are "disappointed,
which is also a development (as compared to previous reports)."

"Yet we still want to continue the contacts and the details of which
will be discussed in the forthcoming session of the Tibetan
parliament in exile in September," he added.

Thanking the media for their interest in Tibet he said that by
highlighting the Tibetan issue they are not "pro-Tibet but
pro-justice," and that the media has a responsibility to present an
objective and unbiased picture and inform the citizens.

Asked about the French President Nicolas Sarkozy not meeting him
during this trip, His Holiness said that it is important for the
western world to nurture warm ties with China. His Holiness stressed
that China should not be isolated and the democratic world has "a
responsibility to bring China into the mainstream society and create
genuine friendship." "Yet the international community has to be firm
when it comes to values like Human Rights, Religious freedom and rule
of law," His Holiness said.

Talking to the Tibetan Community of France in the afternoon, His
Holiness stressed the importance of taking cue from Tibetans and
Chinese people living in Canada and form an association to promote
friendship and understanding between Chinese and Tibetans living in France.
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