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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?"

Dalai Lama Sees Long-term Hope for Tibet

May 11, 2009

May 10, 2009

WASHINGTON (AFP) -- The Dalai Lama said Chinese
rule was a "death sentence" for Tibetan heritage
but stressed the future looked brighter for his
people as China itself modernizes.

In a CNN interview broadcast Sunday, the
73-year-old spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists
also said his reincarnation would be found in the
"free world" rather than in Chinese-occupied Tibet.

Chinese hardliners were guilty of "cultural
genocide" in their assault on Tibet's way of life, he said.

Speaking in English, he said the vast majority of
Tibetans were "very unhappy" as they saw their
"cultural heritage passing through something like a death sentence."

Viewed locally, the Dalai Lama said, Tibet's
prospects appear "hopeless" as communist rulers
look to flood his homeland with ethnic-Chinese
settlers and dilute its Buddhist culture.

"If we look at Tibetan issue from wider
perspective, I feel much hope because China is
changing," he said, also noting strong public
support for Tibet in Europe and North America.

"And then on the other hand, the Tibetan spirit inside Tibet is wonderful."

The Dalai Lama has frequently said he wants to
retire but has kept up a frenetic travel
schedule. The Nobel Peace laureate is currently
touring the United States, but he does not plan to visit Washington.

He is expected to return to the United States in
October, when he hopes to meet with President Barack Obama.

China should see the Dalai Lama as "part of the
solution" on Tibet instead of trying to isolate
him, Obama's top Asia adviser Jeff Bader said on May 1.

But Beijing brands the Dalai Lama a separatist
and has stepped up pressure on world leaders,
including Obama, not to meet with him. The
Buddhist leader fled to India 50 years ago as
China crushed an abortive uprising in Tibet.

The Dalai Lama, an advocate of non-violence, says
he is only seeking greater rights for Tibetans under Chinese rule.

However, he told CNN that his vision of a Tibetan
homeland took in parts of five Chinese provinces
lying beyond what Beijing styles as the Tibet Autonomous Region.

"All in part they are Tibetan there," he said.
"My definition of Tibet are those people who
speak Tibetan, who practice Tibetan culture."

The Dalai Lama rejected China's insistence that
it will select the boy reincarnation who will
become Tibet's next Buddhist leader.

The next Dalai Lama would have to continue his
unfinished work, "so logically in case I die
outside (Tibet)," the new leader would have to be
found "in outside free world."
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