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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

China needs freedom for social harmony, urges Dalai Lama

September 4, 2009

Tibetan spiritual leader chides Taiwan government for becoming 'a little
By Dennis Engbarth
Taiwan News, 2009-09-04

The Dalai Lama expressed confidence yesterday that China and Taiwan would
"progress toward bright futures" and stated that democracy and freedom would
help the development and social harmony of the People's Republic of China.

The Tibetan Nobel Prize Prize laureate made the comments during a
closed-door lecture to an audience of over 500 in the Howard Plaza Hotel in
Taipei City during the last full day of his six-day visit to Taiwan at the
invitation of seven opposition Democratic Progressive Party mayors and
approved by President Ma Ying-jeou.

During the last full day of his five-day visit to pray for the victims of
Typhoon Morakot in southern Taiwan, the Dalai Lama spent yesterday in the
Howard Plaza Hotel meeting with Tibetan and Buddhist groups and a wide range
of other individuals, including ex-KMT Control Yuan president Chen Lu-an,
former Examination Yuan president and ex DPP chairman Yao Chia-wen and black
metal rock star Freddy Lin. In addition, the Dalai Lama spoke to over 500
followers yesterday morning and expressed regret for not being able to visit
Taiwan for eight years after visits in 1997 and 2001.

However, the Dalai Lama related that the exiled Tibetan government, which he
headed since fleeing from Tibet in 1959, had restored direct consultations
with the PRC government in 2001 and quipped that "the teachers in Beijing
were very strict and did not allow me to come to Taiwan."

"Some Taiwan friends asked me in Dharamsala whether I had forgotten about
Taiwan Buddhists, but I told them that I had absolutely not forgotten but
think often of you," but acknowledged that it "was not convenient" to come
to Taiwan in order not to jeopardize the bilateral contacts.

In the wake of widespread unrest in Tibetan areas in the PRC in March 2008,
contacts with the PRC government were broken off the Dalai Lama said that,
in the wake of widespread disturbances and "so I became freer."

"Although I became more free, the Taiwan government became a little afraid,"
commented the Dalai Lama, who expressed "much appreciation" for the general
improvement in cross-strait relations which he said would allow the economy
to improve and help gradually diminish "the Taiwan people's sense of fear."

The Dalai Lama also said he wanted to thank the protesters who objected to
his visit.

"I am very happy to see that they know how to use democracy and freedom of
speech," said the Tibetan leader, who advised the protesters "to go to China
and struggle for the freedom of speech for the people there because they
very much need freedom of speech."

"If the PRC can become more transparent, it will develop better, so it would
be very great if our friends should go to China and promote freedom of
speech and transparency there," the Dalai Lama commented.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner stressed that he did not advocate the overthrow
of the CCP regime but its gradual evolution toward democracy and freedom
since a disintegration of the PRC like the collapse of the former Soviet
Union in 1991 "would be a disaster."

Moreover, the Dalai Lama said that the PRC had changed dramatically in the
past three decades due to the vanishing of communist ideology so that "we
have a capitalist Communist Party without communism."

The Tibetan leader said that the best course would be for the CCP, which had
ruled China for six decades to "retire" and "let young and fresh
intellectuals" take over.

Asked about Taiwan's future in the face of pressure from the PRC, Dalai Lama
said that although the PRC is very strong, it is still part of a world that
is advancing toward democracy and said that China would develop better with
freedom and democracy which would allow individual creativity to flourish.
He added that the "social harmony" advocated by PRC State Chairman Hu Jintao
could only be built on the foundations of democracy and mutual equality.
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