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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."

Monks in heartfelt plea over Tibet

April 1, 2008

Stuff.co.nz
Monday, 31 March, 2008

They came to chant, but also carried a message.

One of the Dalai Lama's monks has made a heartfelt plea for China to let
up on Tibet.

Gen Lama, 73, the head monk touring with the Gyuto Monks of Tibet,
delivered his message from Victoria University's music department
yesterday where his group gave chanting, meditation and musical
performances including a combined performance with the Balinese Gamelan
Orchestra.

The group is travelling throughout Australia and New Zealand on The
Gyuto Monks' Happiness Connection Tour.

Living within sight of the Dalai Lama's monastery in Dharamsala, India,
and bearing a striking resemblance to the Tibetan spiritual leader, Gen
Lama said the monks felt increased responsibility for people to know
what was happening in Tibet where protests and riots had broken out and
spread to parts of Chinese provinces bordering the country.

"It has always been our aim to promote world peace but it is highly
significant at this time that a form of compassionate pressure be
brought on the Chinese regime to bear fruit and result in talking to the
Dalai Lama," he said.

His interpreter, Sonam Rigzin, said the Dalai Lama and his monks were
not asking for much.

"We are not asking a lot from the Chinese, just genuine, meaningful
autonomy. We are happy to remain within Greater China, but just give us
a little bit of rope, cut us a bit of slack and we will accept the new
reality. We live under China, but let us run and manage our own
culture," Mr Rigzin said.

"Between 5000 and 6000 people flee Tibet each year taking great risks
trekking across the Himalayas , demonstrating the desperation they
feel," he said.
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