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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."

I am fully committed to democracy," His Holiness tells Foreign Affairs Committee and others

May 24, 2008

Office of Tibet, London
May 22, 2008

LONDON, May 22 -- His Holiness the Dalai Lama's public talk at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall here concluded this evening with a thunderous applause after Mr. Norman Baker, MP and President of the Tibet Society, in his vote of thanks said, "His Holiness is a beacon of hope not only for the Tibetan people but also for millions of people around the world."

Answering a question from the audience about how they can help Tibet, His Holiness while expressing appreciation for the international community's show of concern and support in the wake of the recent demonstrations in Tibet said one practical way is to educate the Chinese people to help remove their misconceptions of the Tibet issue. He said the Tibetan people are not anti-Chinese and that he consider supporters as pro-justice and not pro-Tibet.  His Holiness also spoke about the importance of democracy and how it can help resolve many of the issues troubling China, including Tibet.

On his part the Tibetan Nobel Peace Laureate said, "I am fully committed to democracy," adding, "I am now in semi-retirement" following the election of Ven. Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche as the Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration or the Tibetan government in exile.

On the subject of global responsibility about which he said he has been speaking since 1973 during his first visit to Europe, His Holiness remarked how it is relevant even today.  To have a sense of global responsibility, His Holiness said one must show concern about the other people.  "Selfishness and greed will only make you unhappy," His Holiness said.

Earlier in the morning, His Holiness at the invitation of the Foreign Affairs Committee took part in a hearing on Tibet in the Westminster Parliament.  There also when answering a series of questions from FAC members, His Holiness emphasised that Tibetans are not anti-Chinese and how the Tibetans in Tibet and in exile have been collecting donation and praying for the victims of the recent tragic earthquake that had rocked China.

His Holiness also said that he fully supported the Chinese President Hu Jintao's call for a "harmonious society" but added that this can only be brought about by having trust and mutual respect for one another.  He said China with all its military and economic powers lacks the moral respect to play an effective role in the comity of nations.

Prior to the Foreign Affairs Committee event on Tibet, His Holiness was received by the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Mr. Nick Clegg, who informed that his first introduction to Tibet was at age 12 when he read Heinrich Harrer's book, "Seven Years in Tibet."

His Holiness was also received by Prince Charles at the Clarence House, where prior to the meeting, the media which had gathered there filmed the Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader planting a tree in the royal garden.

Tomorrow before taking the train to Nottingham, His Holiness will be received by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, at the Lambeth Palace, where Prime Minister Gordon Brown will be coming to see him and following which His Holiness will interact with representatives of various religious and faith leaders.
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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