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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Dalai Lama: China denies problem in Tibet

February 24, 2010

February 23, 2010

See short clip of the interview on CNN website

China is "denying there is a problem" between its
government and Tibet, the Dalai Lama says.

In his first interview since his recent
controversial meeting with President Obama, the
spiritual leader of Tibet told CNN's "Larry King
Live" that China claims Tibetans are "very happy
... much, much, much better than previous Tibet."

However, he noted that his Tibetan
government-in-exile has received information
indicating "suppression ... or restrictions"
culturally and religiously of the Tibetan people.

China rejects Tibetan claims of independence or
greater autonomy and claims sovereignty over the area.

But the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India,
told King that Tibetans "are not seeking independence."

"That's why we are called middle way," he said.
"We complain [about] the presence of policy in
Tibet. It is actually very much damaging. ... But
[on the] other hand, we also do not want
separation from China because ... Tibet [is a]
landlocked country, materially backward. Every
Tibetan want modernized Tibet, so for that
reason, [we] remain within the People's Republic of China."

The Dalai Lama met with Obama on Thursday despite
strong objections from Chinese government
officials. The meeting threatened to further
complicate Sino-U.S. tensions, which have been
rising in recent months. China warned it would
damage Beijing's ties to Washington.

Beijing regards the Nobel Peace Prize laureate as
a dangerous "separatist" who wishes to sever Tibet from China.

"Larry King Live"

The Dalai Lama told King he first met Obama when
the future president was a young senator on the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

He was a "very impressive, young politician then," he said of Obama.

"As soon as he become president, we had some sort
of contact," he said, indicating that Obama
expressed sympathy toward Tibet's plight.
However, a meeting was postponed due to sensitive
talks Obama was conducting with Chinese leaders.

"Now this time, despite some difficulties, we had
that meeting and [it was a] very pleasant one," he said.

The Dalai Lama said he discussed three priorities
during the meeting with Obama: "the promotion of
human value in order to create a better world,"
the promotion of religious harmony and his desire
for modern education for Tibetan children.

He called Obama very receptive to his priorities.

Asked whether he thinks often of his homeland,
the Dalai Lama said he occasionally conjures up
memories of his childhood in Tibet. But after
more than 50 years in India, "my body [is]
supported by Indian rice and Indian dollar," he said.

He sought to deflect attention away from his
exile, saying "this is not our concern. Our
concern is 6 million Tibetan people's basic
rights and culture. These are our main issues."

As a Buddhist, the Dalai Lama spoke often during
the interview about the concept of love and peace.

Asked whether he has love for the Chinese, he
answered, "Certainly. We have to practice that."
He admitted to "some irritation" with Chinese
hardliners, but insisted they are "small moments."
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