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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?"

Tibetans Will Decide Strategy With Democracy: Dalai Lama

November 4, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008 4:01 AM
(Source: Japan Times) tracking By Jun Hongo, Japan Times, Tokyo

Nov. 3--The people of Tibet should and will decide negotiation 
strategy with China later this month through a genuinely democratic 
manner, the Dalai Lama said Sunday.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, accused by Beijing of masterminding a 
separatist movement, is in Japan for a week at the invitation of a 
Fukuoka-based Buddhist organization.

During a joint interview with Japanese media at a Tokyo hotel, he 
explained that envoys from Tibetan communities will meet for a week at 
Dharamsala, India, beginning Nov. 17, and international groups 
supporting Tibet will gather in Delhi later in the month to decide 
Tibet's approach toward achieving "realistic autonomy" from China.

Envoys for Tibet's government in exile left India on Wednesday for 
talks with officials in Beijing, but the Dalai Lama said he hasn't 
received word yet on how the meeting has been going.

While he said he hasn't given up hope or resigned from his position, 
the Dalai Lama said he could no longer take direct responsibility for 
discussions with Beijing, and decisions will be made based on a 
consensus of the people through a democratic process.

The meeting of Tibetan communities and international organizations 
could alter Tibetans' strategy with China, and the Dalai Lama said he 
intends not to talk of his preferences until the meetings are over.

Tibetans believe in genuine democracy "unlike the communist democracy 
in China," he said, explaining that "people may not express (their 
thoughts) freely" if he were to voice his position.

However the Dalai Lama repeated during the interview that his ultimate 
goal is not to gain independence from Beijing but to make sure Tibet's 
cultural and religious heritage is not destroyed.

"We are not seeking separation from China" because remaining a part of 
the rapidly growing economy will help Tibet's development, he said.

Preserving Tibetan Buddhism and its ideology will benefit China as 
well, where "very dirty, corrupted capitalism" is emerging, he added.

"But the Chinese (government) ignores these things, continues to 
accuse us, and is full of suspicion," the Dalai Lama said, criticizing 
the regime for having "no ear but only mouth."

China has controlled Tibet since invading the region in the 1950s. 
Beijing has ruled its people through what the Dalai Lama described as 
"use of force to keep stability," which has caused scores of riots. 
Frustration reached its peak this spring, when antigovernment monks 
rioted. The Dalai Lama criticized Beijing's crackdowns on the Tibetan 
people during and after the clashes. Tibet "very much hoped that the 
Chinese government may see reality, and how many grievances are in 
Tibetan mind," the Dalai Lama said, but he expressed disappointment 
that China has only continued to blame him as the mastermind of 
separatists and the riots.

"There is an iron curtain within their minds, never seeing reality. 
Never seeing others' views," he said.

"It is important to know the limitation of material value," the Dalai 
Lama said, explaining that repletion of the mind is far more valuable 
than financial wealth.

The Dalai Lama's health has been a concern after the 73-year-old 
underwent surgery for gallstones last month, but he said that although 
the operation was complicated, he has surprised his doctors with his 
quick recovery.
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