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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Dalai Lama accuses China of "cultural genocide" in German interview

December 20, 2007

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
December 18, 2007

Berlin (dpa) - The Dalai Lama has accused China of "cultural genocide"
in an interview published Tuesday in the online edition of the German
political magazine Cicero.

Lhasa was being turned into a Chinese city "under the pretext of
modernity," said the Tibetan leader, who left the capital to go into
Indian exile in 1959.

Referring to the disruption in German-Chinese relations following his
September meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Dalai Lama said he
regretted the "unpleasantness" caused.

And he noted what he called an "interesting phenomenon" among world
politicians: they tended to meet him as long as they did not hold
government responsibility, but avoided him once they took office so as
not to annoy Beijing.

The Dalai Lama said that while he had not been to Tibet in years,
indications from refugees crossing the border to India were that Chinese
ways were taking over in his country and that many Tibetans were even
losing the language of their birth.

"Whether the Chinese authorities acknowledge it or not, at the moment
there is a kind of cultural genocide in progress, even if Tibet is
currently very fashionable in the People's Republic," he said.

"Tibet's cultural heritage is under serious threat," he said, with
farmers being pushed into "model villages" in the name of modernization.

The Dalai Lama repeated his call for autonomy for Tibet. Current
contacts with Beijing were not showing any real progress in this regard,
he said.
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