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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

CHINA - TIBET Direct, uncensored dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Chinese netizens

May 30, 2010

The dialogue on dissident writer Wang Lixiong's Twitter page was a great
success. For an hour, the Dalai Lama answered questions sent by Chinese
netizens, his first direct contact with the Chinese people after decades
of censorship. Netizens were eager to share.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

By Asia News 

Hong Kong ? Thousands of Chinese netizens put questions online to exiled
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in an unprecedented dialogue on
Twitter last Friday. US-based Chinese dissident writer Wang Lixiong
moderated the dialogue from New York.

In mainland China, Twitter is blocked but every day tens of thousands of
Chinese netizens skirt the government's firewall and link up to the
micro-blogging service.

This is the first time that the Dalai Lama was able to speak directly to
ordinary Chinese citizens, bypassing the authorities who describe him as
a dangerous terrorist, responsible for social unrest. Indeed, anything
he says or does is censored."Unfortunately, in the past years, our
relationship with the Chinese government has not achieved a substantial
improvement,? the Dalai Lama said. ?But I still feel quite confident of
the Chinese people."

He received 289 questions submitted voted on by netizens, which shows a
desire to know and understand uncensored.

A question that came up frequently was about the succession issue.
Beijing abducted the real Panchen Lama and wants to replace him with its
own appointee. ?I do not place much importance on the issue? of
succession, the Dalai Lama said. ?I will do whatever I can while I am
alive. I do not have any other consideration or responsibility."
However, ?It looks like the Chinese Communist Party seems to be more
concerned about the institution of the Dalai Lama than I am."

?It should be good if he turns out to be someone who embodies both the
knowledge of the scriptures and the realization based on it, and upholds
the teaching and practice of the Buddha's doctrine,? he added.

In the end though, the Dalai Lama is critical of the Chinese government,
which 'seems to be adopting an approach of force to establish stability
while we feel that stability should come from mental satisfaction and

On ethnic tensions between Han settlers in Tibet, who are taking on
positions of power and increasingly marginalising Tibetans in their
native land, he said, ?If we are clear and establish equal relationship,
all problems will be resolved."

The Dalai Lama said he was confident that Beijing's policy towards Tibet
would change because 'some Party members who have worked in Tibet in the
past and who are now retired, as also many Chinese scholars, have been
saying that the present nationality policy is not appropriate and have
suggested that it needs to be reviewed. Therefore, I believe that there
will be a change and a decision in the not too distant future."

Links to the transcript of the dialogue were passed around by Twitter
users in their hundreds over the weekend with many positive comments and
calls for an open and uncensored dialogue.

Some comments were nevertheless pro-Chinese government, criticising
Twitter for supporting ?the Dalai Lama's attempts to split the motherland."

Wang, who organised the event, said he hoped that the Twitter dialogue
would just be the beginning for the Dalai Lama and that this method of
interaction could be used more and more.
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