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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."

Dalai Lama: "Cultural genocide" in Tibet, world scrutiny needed

March 17, 2008

TREND Information, Azerbaijan
16 Mar 2008

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama charged Sunday that "cultural
genocide" was going on in Tibet and he called for an thorough
investigation by the international community into the causes of the
latest violence. ( dpa )

The Dalai Lama also said Beijing deserved to hold the 2008 Olympic
Games, but added that various individuals and groups were concerned
about China's human rights record and it was the moral responsibility of
the international community to remind China to look into these.

"China is a most populated and cultured nation with a long history and
deserves to host the Olympic Games," the Dalai Lama said.

But with regard to the violence in Lhasa, he said: "Some international
organization should carry out thoroughly an investigation of the
situation in Tibet and what is the cause."

Tibetans faced discrimination and were treated as second-class citizens
in their own land, he said.

"The Tibetan nation faces serous danger. A cultural genocide is taking
place in Tibet," he said, calling for international attention to the

"The international community has a moral responsibility to remind the
Chinese government that in order to be good hosts (for the Olympics),
they should look seriously into these fields," he said at a a televised
press conference in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala.

The Buddhist spiritual leader lives in exile in the town which is also
the seat of the Central Tibet Administration, the Tibetan government-in
exile. He had fled to India in 1959 after the Tibetan uprising against
Chinese rule.

Asked about the Chinese government's accusation that the Tibetan leader
had instigated the unrest in the autonomous region, the Dalai Lama said
he was happy that China had found a "scapegoat."

Local Chinese leaders were relying on the use of force to ensure peace
and stability and their attitude to Tibetan Buddhism was very negative,
the Dalai Lama said.

Some Chinese scholars and officials and even Tibetans following the
Communist ideology were concerned about Tibet, he said.

"Using the rule of terror is foolish," the Dalai Lama said. "Genuine
unity and harmony must come from the heart."

This needed to be based on a process of trust. It could not happen in an
atmosphere of fear and full of suspicion, he said.

The Tibetan leader reiterated that both he and the government-in- exile
did not want separation from China or independence but autonomy.

He said the Chinese officials seemed to recognize this during talks in
2006, but he found their attitude to have hardened during the next round
of talks in 2007.

"Their criticism intensified and restrictions on monasteries and
nunneries in Tibet increased," the Dalai Lama said.

The Dalai Lama and the Chinese government have been engaged in talks on
the Tibetan issue since 2002. Six round of talks have taken place so far.

Asked about television footage of violence in Lhasa by Tibetan
protestors, the Dalai Lama said: "Basically Tibetans are a peaceful
nation and follow quite successfully the non-violence principle but
individual emotions can go out of control, violence is possible."

He said his own principle was that of complete non-violence.
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