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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?"

Dalai Lama accuses UK over Tibet

May 24, 2008

The Press Association
May 22, 2008

The Dalai Lama has accused Britain of not doing enough to support Tibet in its struggle for autonomy from its Chinese rulers.

On the eve of his talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the exiled Tibetan political and spiritual leader warned that his people were facing a form of "cultural genocide" at the hands of the Chinese.

Appearing before the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, the Dalai Lama played down the controversy over Mr Brown's decision to meet him at the Archbishop of Canterbury's residence at Lambeth Palace rather than in Downing Street. But asked if Britain was doing enough to support the Tibetans, he replied: "I think not enough."

The Dalai Lama acknowledged that there was a "limitation" as to what Britain - or even the United States or European Union - could achieve with regard to the situation in Tibet.

Mr Brown has been accused of "kow-towing" to the Chinese by meeting him in his capacity as a spiritual leader at Lambeth Palace rather than receiving him as a political leader at No 10.

But the Dalai Lama insisted he was not concerned about the Prime Minister's choice of venue. "For me - no differences. So long as meeting and talk - that is important," he said. "I always meet on the level we are human beings."

But while their discussions will take place in the margins of an inter-faith conference, the Dalai Lama made clear that he would be raising the political situation in Tibet.

Two months after the authorities brutally suppressed a series of anti-Chinese protests across the Tibetan region, he said that arrests and "severe torture" were still taking place.

"One thing I find very painful. When they arrest - severe torture before asking questions," he said.

He said that it was still very difficult to discover what was happening inside Tibet, and repeated his calls for an international investigation into what happened.
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