posted May 5, 2012, 6:41 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
updated May 5, 2012, 6:44 PM
April 23, 2012
Excerpt from HH the Dalai Lama's comments in Long Beach, California (from the official website of His Holiness):
One individual wanted to know what made the Tibetans continue with
their Middle Way Approach. His Holiness said that in 1974, when China
was in the midst of the Cultural Revolution and the Tibetan refugees
had more or less settled in the settlements, there was the discussion
to find a mutually beneficial solution to the Tibetan issue. Then in
1979 direct contact was established with the Chinese leadership. Deng
Xiaoping had sent a message saying that other than the independence of
Tibet all other issues can be discussed and resolved. That message
complemented the thinking of the Tibetan leadership then, he said.
Subsequently, when challenges arose in the dialogue process, a
campaign was launched to ascertain the desire of the Tibetans in
exile. Although the Tibetans in Tibet could not openly participate in
the process, efforts were made to seek their views, too. Most of the
people felt that the Middle Way Approach was mutually beneficial.
Since Ms. Rebiya Kadeer was present in the room, His Holiness said
that the Uyghurs of Xinjiang are known for their struggle for
independence. However, he said following their meetings, Ms. Kadeer
also understood the significance of the Middle Way approach and
supported it. He said that the Chinese United Front authorities
accuse His Holiness with conspiring with people like Ms. Kadeer, but
in reality he said that their contact had the Uyghur adopt such a
He said for the past 11 years, since 2011 his position was that of
semi-retirement following the election of Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche.
After Rinpoche finished his two terms and a new leadership was elected
in 2011, the new leader had also committed himself to supporting the
Middle Way Approach as he saw it as a sound policy.
He said that since this approach was seen as a rational one it has
received majority support and has been continuing.
Another person asked about the issue of “great Tibet” and how this fit
into the Tibetan struggle. His Holiness responded that what the
Tibetans were striving for was the same rights under the Chinese
Constitution for all Tibetans. He said the decline of Tibetan
language, tradition and environment affected all Tibetans wherever
they were living. Since Tibet was economically backward, it was in the
Tibetans’ own interest to remain within the People’s Republic of
China. What the Tibetans needed was protection for the distinct
Tibetan language, environment, etc., and genuine autonomy.
He said that although the Tibetans have been adopting the same
approach in line with the message of Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese United
Front only called names such as separatists, counter-revolutionaries
and recently even a Nazi.
His Holiness said that he was a little perturbed that the Chinese
people were not getting to hear the truth. If there was freedom and
democracy the people would be able to understand the truth, he said.
He added that with freedom and democracy in China, the Tibetan issue
could be resolved easily, even within a week. Not only the Tibetan
problem, but also the problems of the Uyghur people can be resolved
with justice. To date, even though the Chinese claim to want stability
and unity, the approach being used was one of force. This can only
exacerbate the problem. He said in 2008 there were protests in Tibet,
in 2009 the Uyghur people protested and in 2010, the Mongols
protested. Even in China protests are being undertaken by the Chinese
people themselves, he said, referring to the development in Guangdong.
His Holiness said when news came about the Charter ’08, he was in
Warsaw in Poland and immediately announced his support to it. He said
change would definitely take place in China. He referred to Premier
Wen Jiabao’s repeated call for political reform, including following
the session of the National People’s Congress this year, and the
subsequent development concerning Bo Xilai. He felt there would be a
big change in China. However, the important thing, he said, was that
the change should be a gradual one. He said eventually the Chinese
Communist Party, too, should retire similar to his own retirement.
Another person asked whether he would be able to visit Tibet as a
spiritual and temporal leader. His Holiness responded that under the
present situation where he was being considered a demon it was obvious
that if he were to go eventually he would be in prison. He said he was
concerned that the Chinese people do not have access to information.
He said first there was the need to be transparent about the truth. He
repeated his assertion that the 1.3 billion Chinese people have every
right to know the reality and that they also have the ability to judge
what is right what is wrong. He also said it was important that the
legal standard in China reach that of international standard.
Personally, he said, that he had devolved his political authority to
the directly elected leader and his responsibility was on spiritual
matters. He talked about his commitment to promote inter-religious
harmony and human values and felt that he could make a contribution on
these even to the People’s Republic of China.
Read the full article at http://www.unpo.org/article/14186
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