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India should set an example to the world: Dalai Lama

December 22, 2008

Dalai Lama’s efforts to enter into a dialogue with Chinese government have failed, but his middle way approach has succeeded in receiving support from many governments. If China gave a positive signal the Tibetan side was ready to discuss the issue..
 
Merinews - New Delhi
December 20, 2008
 
THE TIBETAN spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is of the opinion to set India as an example to the world for its developed culture for spreading non-violence and peace. While appreciating India, Dalai Lama said, “Indians should not only look within their own area, but should look in universal direction and set an example to the world as she has a century year old treasure. The way is religious tolerance, non-violence and peaceful culture not just due to certain environment.”
 
The Buddhist spiritual leader set up his seat of power in Dharmshala after the Tibetans fled to India, in 1959, nine years after China occupied Tibet. The Dalai Lama has renounced the goal of an independent Tibet and says he only wants more autonomy. China accuses Dalai Lama with continuing to spark separatist efforts for a free Tibet.
 
Talking to media persons, the Tibetan leader said that the French government is concerned about the plight of Tibet. The Dalai Lama told during his recent visit abroad he had met important members of the European Unions including President Sarkozy of France. He said that they had expressed serious concerns about Tibet. Last month, the Tibetan spiritual leader met the European parliamentarians and also French president Nicolas Sarkozy, sharing his concerns over the situation in Tibet. Dalai Lama said that Sarkozy showed genuine concern for Tibet during their meeting.
 
“I had a very nice meeting and he (President Sarkozy) also showed genuine concern about Tibet and I expressed my appreciation to him that in spite of inconvenience he stood firm on principle,” His Holiness said.
 
Dalai Lama informed that he also told the French president that although it was important to have good relations with China, it was equally important not to give up on matters of principles.  With regard to the Chinese government’s threat that it would boycott French goods, His Holiness said this is not the first time China has been critical of a western leader’s decision to meet with him and that not much action would follow.
 
“In the past, in Norway and other countries, before my meeting (with leaders) takes place, there is lot of criticism.  China also needs Europe.  European life does not depend on China,” His Holiness said.
 
Dalai Lama said he has great respect for the Chinese nation and culture and this is why had always advocated that China should not be isolated. He said that the world has a responsibility to bring the rule of law, transparency and democracy to China in the long-term interest of China and the Chinese people. His Holiness said that just like the West had very actively criticised violations of human rights in erstwhile Soviet Union, they must also have the courage to speak up against the human rights violations in China, which is much worse.
 
He said that as a friend of China, various countries and their leaders must also point out the faults of China rather than simply acting as “Yes minister”. On the question of the US president-elect Barack Obama, he said he is confident of his support for Tibet.  His Holiness said President Obama, whom he has met in the past, had during the US presidential elections also called him and had written to him to express his support for Tibet.
 
He said although his efforts to enter into a dialogue with the Chinese government has failed as of now, his middle way approach has succeeded in receiving support from many governments and many Chinese people.
 
If the Chinese government gave a positive signal the Tibetan side was ready to discuss the Tibet issue on the basis of his middle way approach and the memorandum his envoys had presented, he added.
 
His Holiness has been met by many world leaders, including the German chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, the prime minister of Britain Gordon Brown and the president of the United States, George Bush, who also last year presented to His Holiness the US Congressional gold medal, America’s highest civilian honour.
 
His Holiness said that he would continue the middle way approach as it has been endorsed by the special general meeting of the Tibetan people’s representatives and worldwide Tibet support groups meeting held last month and during which opinions, even those critical to his approach, were expressed in accordance to democratic freedom of speech.
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