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The Power of Truth Will Triumph Over the Gun

September 11, 2010

Shevlin Sebastian
The New Indian Express
September 6, 2010

Kochi -- When one of Kerala's well-known
cartoonist Yesudasan placed a thalappavu
(headgear) on the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan
religious leader smiled, and said, "I received a
similar one two days ago in Bylakuppe
(Karnataka). I will soon have a collection. Thank you very much."

The Dalai Lama came to Kochi yesterday for his
first-ever visit to the coastal city. In his
opening engagement, he met with an audience of
about a hundred people, comprising academicians,
intellectuals, journalists, politicians, and
cultural figures at the Gateway Hotel, at a
meeting organised by the 'Friends of Tibet'. The
Dalai Lama was clad in his familiar maroon tunic
and yellow shawl and looked a decade younger than
the 75 he actually is. Thereafter, he proceeded
to give a remarkable 40-minute talk on the
history and background of the Tibet struggle.

"Since 1959 the basic policy of the Chinese has
remained the same," he said. “The suppression
and destruction of Tibetan culture. But our
spirit remains strong. We believe in non-violence
and compassion.” But his impish humour, which
was on display throughout the speech, came to the
fore. "But that does not mean that the Tibetans
don't fight with each other, but they are in a
minority," he said. Later, the Dalai Lama added,
"Some people regard me as a living Buddha. But in
China, they regard me as a living demon." He bursts out laughing at this point.

But His Holiness looked worried when he spoke
about the ecological destruction of the Tibetan
Plateau, the third 'pole' after the North and
South Poles. "Thanks to the endless cutting of
trees, global warming is much faster now," he
says. All the major rivers, like the Brahmaputra
and the Indus river, originate in the plateau.
“A billion people in many countries in Asia,
including India, who depend on these rivers will be affected," he said.

But the Dalai Lama's message, ultimately, was one
of hope. "The power of the gun is decisive in the
short run," he said. "But to implement it, you
need many people. For the power of the truth to
succeed, you need only one person." He gave the
example of Mahatma Gandhi and how he triumphed
over the might of the British Empire. "I am
convinced that the power of truth will win, one
day, in Tibet," he said. The Dalai Lama said that
when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Empire
disintegrated, nobody could have predicted these
events. "This can happen in China also,” he
said. Incidentally, more than 1.2 million
Tibetans have been killed so far, and thousands remain in prison in Tibet.

The Dalai Lama said that he had met many young
Chinese students who told him that they had been
brainwashed by the distorted propaganda about
Tibet meted out by the Communist party.

"When they went to Tibet, they were amazed to see
the goodness of the Tibetan people," he told the
spell-bound audience at Kochi. "As more and more
Chinese students study abroad and meet young
Tibetans, they will understand us better and
bring about a change in our country."

Friends of Tibet (Kerala) members and supporters
during a private audience with His Holiness the
XIV Dalai Lama on September 04, 2010.

. . . . . . .
Friends of Tibet, PO Box: 16674, Bombay 400050, India.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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