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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."

Dalai Lama Expresses Happiness over Chinese Group’s Call for Greater Freedom

December 13, 2008

Dharamsala, Friday, December 12, 2008 (Phayul) – His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his pleasure over the recent launch of a Charter '08 by some 300 Chinese people who unusually sent an open call to the Chinese government for greater freedoms and an end to China's one-party rule. Reports say police detained two of the signatories before the statement was even issued.
The Tibetan leader, in a statement issued today, said he was greatly encouraged by the launching of a Charter ’08 by academics, artists, farmers and lawyers in China on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and that their call for political, legal and constitutional reform is admirable.
“I personally believe that President Hu Jintao’s call for a harmonious society is a laudable initiative that can provide space to the viewpoints being expressed by a growing number of Chinese people. A harmonious society can only come into being when there is trust among the people, freedom from fear, freedom of expression, rule of law, justice and equality. “
He urged the Chinese leadership to ‘consider making efforts to bring about unity and stability in a civilized way.’
“I would also like to take this opportunity to call upon the government of the People’s Republic of China to release prisoners of conscience, including Hu Jia, who have been detained for exercising their freedom of expression.”
His Holiness also spoke about his reaction to the Charter '08 to the members of Polish parliament and the press yesterday.
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