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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 a 'proud Canadian'

April 20, 2008

CRAIG PEARSON
Montreal Gazette
April 19, 2008

The Dalai Lama greeted Canadian politicians who came to the University
of Michigan to see him yesterday as a proud Canadian.

"As an honorary citizen of Canada, (I'm) very happy to receive some of
our parliamentarians," said the Dalai Lama outside the secluded home of
university president. Parliament declared him an honorary citizen in
June, 2006.

"We are passing through a very difficult period. So they give us some
inspiration, some new hope," he said of the Canadian contingent of that
included MPs, members of the Ontario legislature, senators and the
president of the Canada Tibet Committee.

The group emerged from their meeting wearing white scarves he gave them
as gifts.

They met with the Buddhist holy leader under tight U.S. State Department
security before he attended a news conference on campus where he
supported the Chinese Olympics, discussed a possible cultural genocide
of Tibetans in China, and promoted more links between Tibetans and
Chinese people around the world.

"All over Canada, (we have) many, many friends, so I want to express my
deep appreciation," said the 14th Dalai Lama, who is on a week-long tour
of the United States, his first foreign trip since a Chinese crackdown
in Tibet.

"They are supporters not only of the Tibetan issue but also are
supporters of the human rights issue, as well as religious freedom and
freedom of expression."

The Dalai Lama has been offering teachings, public talks and political
visits since arriving in Seattle last weekend for his first foreign trip
since China's crackdown on protesters hit the world stage.

"We are here to reassure his Holiness that we will continue to support
him in this struggle," said Conservative Senator Con Di Nino, who is the
chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, an all-party group formed
in 1990 by members of Parliament and senators concerned about the
political situation in Tibet.

Dermod Travis, president of the Canada Tibet Committee, said some 4,000
Tibetans have been arrested and more than 140 killed in the last few
weeks of protest against Chinese rule in Tibet.

"China can't have it both ways," Travis said. "China said winning the
Games would help them speed up their democratic reform and the
introduction of human rights by having the international spotlight on them.

"Well, that's what's happening now - China's having the spotlight cast
on them. So it's hypocritical to turn around and say, 'Mind your own
business'."
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