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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 welcome here

December 11, 2008

China Post - Taipei,Taiwan
December 10, 2008
 
Editorial
 
In a move that has Beijing fuming, French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with the Dalai Lama Saturday at a gathering of Nobel Peace Prize laureates in Gdansk, Poland.
 
China had warned France that multibillion-dollar bilateral trade deals could be harmed if the meeting went ahead. Beijing cancelled a EU-China summit last week which France, current holder of the EU presidency, was to host.
 
Sarkozy is the only European head of state to meet the Dalai Lama while holding the European Union’s rotating six-month presidency.
 
“I am free as the French president and the EU president, I have values and convictions. The world needs an open China that participates in global governance. China needs a powerful Europe that gives work to Chinese enterprise,” Sarkozy said.
 
In a short address to the Polish Parliament, the Dalai Lama steered clear of politics and spoke of the need for dialogue to solve conflicts.
 
“When China becomes more democratic, with freedom of speech, with rule of law and particularly with freedom of the press, ... once China becomes an open, modern society, then the Tibet issue, I think within a few days, can be solved,” the Dalai Lama said.
 
The Buddhist leader and other Nobel Peace Prize laureates were invited to Gdansk to mark the 25th anniversary of the day the award went to Poland’s Lech Walesa for leading the Solidarity movement in a peaceful struggle against the then communist regime.
 
The 73-year-old Dalai Lama has long stressed that he is seeking Tibet’s autonomy within China — not independence from it. But he also urged the EU, China’s biggest trading partner, to stand up to Beijing on human rights. Beijing calls the Dalai Lama “a wolf in monk’s clothing and a devil with a human face, hell-bent on breaking Tibet away from China.”
 
Meanwhile, President Ma Ying-jeou has said he would welcome the Dalai Lama for a visit “when the time is right.” Ma greeted the Tibetan leader twice when the latter visited Taiwan in 1997 and 2001.
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