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China Lacks Moral Sway: Dalai Lama

April 24, 2009

By JUN HONGO, Staff writer
Japan Times
April 23, 2009

NARITA, Chiba Pref. -- China must get rid of its
autocratic policies and install moral authority
if it wants to establish itself as a true global
superpower, the Dalai Lama said Wednesday.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, visiting Japan
before a two-week trip to the United States,
criticized Beijing for suppressing minorities and
waging a "propaganda campaign" during an
antigovernment rally in Lhasa, the capital, last year.

"Such a big nation acting like a child," he told
reporters in Narita, Chiba Prefecture.

The Tibetan leader has been living in exile in
India since 1959, when the Chinese army crushed
resistance in the high, mountainous region.

China has accused the Dalai Lama of masterminding
separatist movements while it clamps down to take
stricter control of what it calls the Tibet
Autonomous Region. It sentenced two Tibetans to
death earlier this month for instigating deadly
fires during anti-China protests in Lhasa just
months before the Beijing Olympics last year.

The Dalai Lama condemned the rulings, saying
there was "no rule of law and everything was
controlled by the party" that single-handedly
runs the communist state. He said the verdict was
politically motivated and China's latest effort
to distract the public from reality.

The Dalai Lama, whose real name is Tenzin Gyatso,
said the truth behind the riots in the holy
Buddhist city must be brought to light and urged the media to investigate.

The Tibetan leader is slated to lecture at joint
panel discussions, including one at Harvard
University, during his U.S. trip. He said the
purpose of the visit was to promote the concepts
of "religious harmony" and "inner value" over those of materialism.

The Dalai Lama, who was recently denied a visa
from South Africa under pressure from China, said
he will not be meeting major political figures
during the trip. But he also said a meeting with
President Barack Obama might be in the cards this
fall when he visits Washington, where he was
awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest
civilian honor, in 2007 by then President George W. Bush.

The leader also repeated that Tibet is not
seeking independence from China but the
preservation of its cultural and religious heritage.

Beijing, whose presence is growing in the global
community, has "no need for such sort of fear"
and must learn to harmonize with others instead
of eradicating their opinions, he said.

Last month, at a rally in India, he lambasted the
government and said the Communist Party had
turned Tibet into a "hell on Earth."
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