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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Monday, April 26, 2004

The Dalai Lama: An interview

 Dalai Lama: Spiritual Leader of the Tibetan PeopleAn interesting CBC Canada interview with the Dalai Lama currently visiting Canada on a lecture tour which has also included the controversial meeting with the Canadian Prime minister Mr Paul Martin.

The Dalai Lama talks about why politicians around the world decide against meeting him and states that he is not at all unhappy with that situation much preferring to being seen as a spiritual leader rather than a political activist.

"I think 80 per cent of my energy and time is spent on spiritual field. I always introduce myself as a Buddhist monk. Nothing else. So when someone, they consider me as a Buddhist monk, I'm very happy. If someone considers me as a politician, that's not very correct."

One of the very peculiar aspects of China's rather strong reaction to the Dalai Lama being met by foreign politicians is that they claim that the Dalai Lama is a "separatist" whose goal it is to see an independent Tibet despite the fact that the Lama has stated on many occasions since 1992 that he no longer advocates separation from China. In this interview he reconfirms this position quite plainly.

"..My main concern for Tibet is preservation of Tibetan culture, preservation of Tibetan spirituality. I'm not much concerned about political field, whatever political status, OK, so long the preservation of Tibetan culture, preservation of Tibetan spirituality and environment fulfilled, then political status doesn't matter. Not much important. Personally, I have no interest in the political status of these things. I made it very clear, I think in '92, I made it very clear, when time comes for our return with certainty of freedom, then I will hand it over, all my religious authority to the local government."

It is as if the Chinese Government wish to continue painting the Dalai Lama as a threat to China's unity perhaps to justify their actions in Tibet. Like the Uygur and the non existent "Uygur Terrorism" it provides them with a degree of at least "self justification " for their actions and policies towards these peoples.

The Lama also speaks in the interview of when he considers the use of violence or force as a legitimate tool and uses historical analogies of the war against Nazism as an example of justifiable force. In general though he has a very simple rule advocating "gentle violence":

" If someone try to shoot on you, then there is no possibility to run away, then you have to hit back. Then possibly not on head, but leg or something like that. So that's not serious hit back, but more lenient way, more gentle way.

The article also has a small history of the position of Dalai Lama and links to some other CBC articles relating to Tibet and the Dalai Lama.

Link Read Rating:

CBC News in depth: The Dalai Lama

Another good article clearly enunciating the Dalai Lama's position on the future for China and Tibetcan be found at the following link

TheStar.com - Dalai Lama's Tibet hopes: It should stay part of China, exiled leader says He expresses optimism for peaceful change