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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 condemns crackdown on Myanmar's pro-democracy monks

December 4, 2007

The Winston-Salem Journal
December 03, 2007


The Dalai Lama said Tuesday that he supported the recent pro-democracy
demonstrations in Myanmar and condemned the crackdown on the Buddhist
monks who led them, saying that it reminded him of China’s oppression of

Myanmar’s military rulers crushed a series of pro-democracy protests in
September, killing at least 15 people and detaining nearly 3,000
protesters, according to information authorities gave the U.N. Monks
were at the forefront of the movement. Diplomats and dissidents say that
the death toll was much higher.

“When I saw pictures of people beating monks I was immediately reminded
of inside Tibet, in our own case, where just a few days ago monks were
beaten by Chinese forces,” the Dalai Lama said. “I am fully committed
and I have full support and sympathy for the demonstrators,” the Dalai
Lama told reporters on the sidelines of the Elijah Interfaith Summit of
world religious leaders in the northern Indian city of Amritsar.

The meeting, which brought together prominent Hindu, Muslim, Christian,
Buddhist, Sikh and Jewish leaders, focused on using religion to spread
peace and resolve conflict.

The Dalai Lama urged the military junta in Myanmar - a staunchly
Buddhist country - to heed the Buddha’s teachings. “They should be
Buddhists. Please act according to Buddha’s message of compassion,” he said.

The military has ruled Myanmar, also known as Burma, since 1962,
crushing periodic rounds of dissent. It held elections in 1990 but
refused to hand over power to the democratically elected government.

The Dalai Lama has been leading a campaign for autonomy and religious
freedom for Tibet, which China has ruled since its Communist forces
invaded Tibet in 1951. He has been based in the Indian hill town of
Dharmsala since he fled Tibet in the face of advancing Chinese soldiers
in 1959.
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