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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: Respecting Tibetan Rights Key to Compassionate China

June 29, 2010

By Tsering Tsomo
June 28, 2010

Yokohama, Japan, June 28 -- If the Tibetan people
can achieve genuine autonomy in protecting and
promoting their culture, language, identity, and
way of life, it can also provide hope for a more
just and compassionate society in China where the
frenzied rush to accumulate wealth and power has
led to the rapid erosion of moral principles,
said His Holiness the Dalai Lama at an informal
gathering of some 70 Tibetans and their Japanese
supporters this morning at the Intercontinental Grand Hotel in Yokohama.

The Dalai Lama said the Tibetan people’s struggle
for autonomy is based on valid historical and
cultural basis. "Since the 7th century, the
Tibetan people have developed their own language,
religion, and culture without seeking any help
from outsiders," he said, adding the most
comprehensive knowledge on Buddhism, for
instance, is available only in Tibetan language.

Tibetan cultural and religious traditions
emphasize the inner values of truth, kindness,
peace, and the well-being of humanity even as
Tibetans in Tibet still face violent suppression
of their basic rights as human beings. Because
Tibetans have been honest and transparent in
their dealings with the Chinese authorities in
solving the Tibet issue, there is no need for
them to feel hatred, prejudice, bias, or tell
lies, he said. “Truth, not force, is our biggest strength.”

In his brief address to the gathering, Mr.
Tsegyam, head of the China Desk at the Private
Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, said
concern is now growing among many Chinese
intellectuals about the corrosion of traditional
Chinese values in the current socio-political system in China.

Although extreme nationalistic feelings
particularly among young Chinese, provoked
largely by a xenophobic state media, is still a
problem, Mr. Tsegyam said awareness about the
Tibet issue is increasing not only among Chinese
intellectuals but also among ordinary Chinese in
and outside mainland China. He said mainland
Chinese Buddhists are now paying more attention
to Tibetan Buddhism by attending His Holiness’
teachings in India. Over 500 Chinese now visit
India to learn about Buddhist teachings from His
Holiness; more than 200 mainland Chinese
Buddhists attended His Holiness’ teaching in
Varanasi (India) last year. Many more were unable
to attend due to restrictions imposed by the
Chinese government. Chinese scholars, professors,
writers, and artists often seek audience with His Holiness.

Recalling a meeting His Holiness had with 11
Chinese university students in Paris, Mr. Tsegyam
said the students asked for pictures of His
Holiness so they could take them home and show it
to their family and friends and tell them about
the problems faced by the Tibetans. One of the
students who was studying filmmaking conveyed a
message of apology to His Holiness from his
father who as a PLA soldier in 1956 had to kill
many Tibetans. “He said he heard his father cry
on phone when telling about his actions in Tibet
as a PLA soldier,” Mr. Tsegyam said. “Try to
befriend every Chinese you meet because that’s
the best way to clear doubts and misinformation.”

He said all Tibetans living in Tibet Autonomous
Region (TAR) and in four provinces of Sichuan,
Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan share a common history,
language, culture, faith, and way of life. “That
being the case, it is not fair and just, even
defies common sense, to deny genuine autonomy for
over 4 million Tibetans who live outside the TAR," Mr. Tsegyam said.

Before addressing the Tibetan community of Japan,
Japanese Lawmaker Mr. Makino Seishu and eight
other Japanese parliamentarians visited His
Holiness to greet him and to congratulate him for his successful tour in Japan.

After completing his 11-day tour of Japan, the
Dalai Lama left the country this morning.
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