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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 speaks out on China rule: Tibet's worst days under military yoke

January 11, 2010


The Telegraph (Calcutta) - Jan. 9, 2010

Bodh Gaya: The Dalai Lama today asked people across the world to visit his
country under the "military occupation" of China to see for themselves the
"sufferings" of Tibetans, as his five-day peace lectures ended with an
"emphatic political" appeal.

"I request all of you to make a visit to Tibet to have your assessment of
the situation. Particularly after 2008, the situation has turned worse in
Tibet and your Tibetan fellow human beings are undergoing the worst-ever
suffering under Chinese military rule," the Buddhist monk told a gathering
that included hundreds of westerners.

The condemnation of Beijing's "dictatorship" has come despite a condition
Delhi had set the Tibetan leader: that he wouldn't make any political
statement against China.

However, once in a while, the Dalai Lama has been making statements
bordering on the political to address concerns of his people, and Delhi is
unlikely to make it an issue, especially against the backdrop of friction
between India and China over visas for Kashmiris and Arunachal Pradesh.

Observers described the Dalai Lama's statement as an "emphatic" comment that
may have been prompted by the presence of so many people from non-Asian and
non-Buddhist countries.

The five-day lectures at Bodh Gaya, the place of the Buddha's enlightenment
2,500 years ago, drew some 4,000 visitors from Australia, Africa and Europe
apart from the nearly 30,000 domestic audience.

The Dalai Lama's impassioned plea came within a year of his appeal last
March to the UN and other international agencies to "inspect the violation
of human rights" in Tibet. The agencies, however, did not respond to the
spiritual leader's appeal from Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan
government-in-exile, apparently because of China's clout.

Today, in the presence of visitors from nearly 50 countries, the 74-year-old
monk asked the non-Buddhist world to verify if what "China has been
propagating" was true.

"The Chinese government's propaganda agencies tell that 50 to 60 per cent
people in Tibet are happy for they have no objection to living under Chinese
rule. If after visiting China you find truth with what China has been
propagating, I will have no objection. But visit the place under the
military dictatorship of the worst order to make an assessment of the truth
on your own," he said.

"If you do not have money, please borrow it," he added in a lighter vein, to
applause from the crowd. "Or buy Tibetan antiques to do business and earn
money to see the sufferings of your fellow human beings in Tibet."

He thanked the people from the West for turning up for the lectures in such
large numbers.

"You may be different in colour and nationalities. But all human beings are
the same for they share the same emotion, same intelligence and the same
sensory organs. The mind cutting across human beings feels the sufferings
and happiness in the same manner," he said, striking an emotional chord with
the gathering.
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