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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?"

A Tibetan lady Dalai Lama will be very attractive

July 8, 2010

Sify (India)
July 5, 2010

In January 2008, The Dalai Lama spent two days in
Ahmedabad -- ironically, the self-proclaimed
‘Marxist Monk’ was addressing a group of
soon-to-be capitalists – at the Indian Institute
of Management. But he believes the original
theory of Karl Marx has been distorted by greed
for power. He took time off to speak to
columnist Claude Arpi about China, Tibet’s ties
with India, his successor and more.

Claude Arpi: The Chinese say that the Tawang area
belongs to them. Their argument is that your
predecessor, the 6th Dalai Lama (Tsangyang Gyatso) was born in Tawang.

Dalai Lama: Sometimes the Communists’
argumentation is difficult to understand (laughs).

But regarding the border, since the Simla
Conference in 1914, the border has been
demarcated. The Conference was attended by three
delegations: the Chinese delegation, the British
India delegation and the Tibetan, though the
final Convention was sealed between the Tibetans and British India only.

Because the Chinese refused to sign it at that
time, from their point of view, the demarcation
is illegal. But since the Tibetan delegation
signed the Convention and accepted this
demarcation, we today stand by the McMahon Line.
It is the border [between India and Tibet].

What has happened before Simla is another matter
and it can be studied, but after 1914, after
Simla Convention, it is clear for us that south
of the Line, it is Indian territory.

Claude Arpi: Recently, it was reported that the
Chinese were building roads and airfields just
north of the McMahon Line (in Metok county of
southeastern Tibet). It was acknowledged by the
Defence Minister himself who said the Chinese
were very much ahead of India in Defence preparedness. What is your opinion?

Dalai Lama: This is serious, very serious. I will
give you an information (sic.). Someone reliable
told me that the decision to start a railway line
between Mainland China and Lhasa was made right
after the Sino-Indian war of 1962.

The reason is that during the 1962 conflict, the
Chinese military nearly collapsed because of the
length of the logistical lines. That is why they
had to unilaterally declared a cease-fire and
withdraw; they faced too many problems. Because
of this experience, Chairman Mao gave immediate
instructions to start building a railway link [from China] to Lhasa.

But then, soon after, China went through the
Cultural Revolution, then there was shortage of
funds and later the [economic] development started [under Deng Xiaoping].

Only a few years back, the work could start [it
was completed in July 2006]. It is very clear
that the concept of the railway is born out military ‘business’.

Claude Arpi: During a public address, you spoke
about Nalanda University. The Chinese Government
said that they are ready to help restoring what
was the largest Buddhist University in India. What is your position about this?

Dalai Lama: It is a good thing. The Chinese
Buddhist tradition is similar to the Nalanda
tradition. I also heard that in Xian, the ancient
Chinese capital in Shanxi province, the Chinese
Buddhist Society is rebuilding a similar Buddhist Institution. I welcome this.

I feel that in the long run, the remedy to the
internal problems of China is Buddhist
compassion, at least to some extent. Therefore
the restoration of the Nalanda University with
the help of the Chinese Government is a good thing.

Claude Arpi: In 2007, the Chinese government says
3.8 million Chinese have visited Lhasa. Do you
see this as a positive or negative development?

Dalai Lama: This is a complicated issue. One
aspect is that many of them remain in Tibet to
exploit the resources (particularly the mineral
resources of Tibet). This is the negative aspect.

Some 10 or 15 ago, in many parts of Tibet, like
for example in Western Tibet (Ngari province),
there was no Chinese settled here. Recently, I
met some journalists of the German Z-TV who
visited Ngari region. They showed me the pictures
of new Chinese towns besides old Tibetan villages.

Even in these remote Tibetan areas, the Chinese
population is settling; in places like Rudok or
Tholing. This is the negative side. There is a demographic aggression.

The positive side is that many Chinese can now
easily visit Tibet and the most sensitive amongst
them, can get a good picture of what is happening
in Tibet. They can meet Tibetans and encounter
the rich Tibetan civilization and our cultural heritage.

Many Chinese discover that their Government does
not give them the proper information [about Tibet]. That is the positive side.

But the problem of population is a very serious one.

I feel that in the interest of the Chinese
government, a solution has to be found in the
current negotiation between Beijing and my
government (which represents 6 million Tibetans).
But the demographic aggression is the most serious issue.

I think sooner or later a solution can be found
[with the Chinese]. On our part, we can wait, 5
years, 10 years, 20 years, but the demographic
issue as well as the environment problems, cannot wait.

Once we are able to reach a political solution,
it may be too late. If Tibet is only inhabited by
Han Chinese, what is the meaning of autonomy?
Like in Inner Mongolia today, it is too late.
There is there is more than 80% of Chinese. It is too late.

Claude Arpi: How does it feel to be a monk?

Dalai Lama: There are two levels. At the personal
level, I follow the life-style of a Buddhist
monk, it is simple, though when I travelled,
there is a lot policemen! (sic.) But my lifestyle
is simple; my only luxury is to sleep. Nine hours
sleep is really a luxury. In the morning I wake
up at 3 am, usually I go to sleep at about 7 pm in the evening.

At the same time, I am one out of 6 billion human
beings. We are all part of the same humanity. If
one human being suffers, we all suffer. This is
the reason why I have to follow what is happening in the world.

I mentioned to the Tibetan community this morning
that capitalism in the 19th century when Karl
Marx expounded his theory against capitalism,
capitalism was worse than today. Now it is
better. For example, the Western capitalism is
regulated by rules and there are labour unions.

The employers cannot exploit the employees
anymore. In a way, today capitalism is not as bad
as in the past. And today even Communists are
following Capitalism, it is quite strange, isn’t it? (laughs).

Claude Arpi: What vision do you have for the
world, and for Tibet in particular?

Dalai Lama: My serious concern is the disparity
between poor and rich. It is a global phenomenon;
it is also present in India. This gap is not only
morally wrong, but also practically wrong. I find the situation very serious.

Yesterday, I said that it is important to look
after the poorer sections of the people who work
hard. Educate them, give them a good education,
provide them with skills and give them self-confidence.

Sometimes, I notice that the so-called
untouchables, the dalits suffer from some kind of
frustration. On the other side, they feel
inferior. Though it is in their mind, it is not
good. This feeling of inferiority brings
frustration, which in turn brings anger.

It is not healthy. They need self-confidence. It
is important to educate them and use any
opportunity to equip them to face life.

Claude Arpi: In our system of education, we speak
about business, ethics, but never about subject
like compassion or gaining self-confidence. How
do you think that people can imbibe these values,
when they are not taught to them?

Dalai Lama: This is lacking in the so-called
modern education. There is something missing. In
US or in Europe, the education is first class,
but as far as the moral ethics is concerned,
either it relies too much on religious faith or
it is neglected. There are many people in the
West who share my views. Modern education is not
fully adequate; we need some programme in our
education system to teach warm-heartedness and
compassion. We cannot only rely on religious
faith, but more on common sense, common experience and scientific findings.

Claude Arpi: Unfortunately, it is not taught or
it is left to parents to teach. If you are lucky,
your parents will teach you at home, but we do
not receive this type of education in school.

Dalai Lama: This is a mistake. This should be
added to the curriculum. Of course, you cannot
make examinations about compassion, though it can
also be tested. There are today some teachers and
some well-known scientists carrying one month (or
14 days) programme of meditation and the
development of compassion. They have noticed that
after 2 or 3 weeks, there is a difference; the
students become more peaceful, less stressed, the
blood circulation is better. This subject should be taught.

Claude Arpi: Today we see senseless violence and
even killings elsewhere. What message would you like to give the youth?

Dalai Lama: We are lacking moral education or
ethics. Compassion does not only mean to do
something nice to another, compassion also brings
immense benefits to oneself. Usually people have
the impression that the practice of compassion is
something good for others, because a
compassionate person usually becomes nicer to
others, but if you think that it brings good to
others only, you are wrong. Compassion
immediately brings inner peace and
self-confidence to the person practicing it; it
is therefore also good for the practitioner.

Claude Arpi: In my own case, of course we cannot
say that I am a very compassionate person (laugh).

Dalai Lama: From time to time I lose my temper,
but ill-feeling, I have practically never
[experienced]. Whenever I meet people, I feel
that they are old friends; a feeling of dislike never comes to my mind.

Whether I am meeting a President, or a
businessman, a scientist, the Holy Pope, or even
journalists (laughs), or an AIDS patient or
leper, it makes no difference to me, they are all
same human being. All deserve the same sense of respect.

Claude Arpi: In your Middle Way approach, you
have agreed to not raise the independence issue
providing that you get genuine autonomy. Will it
close the issue of independence for future generations?

Dalai Lama: The future of Tibet depends on
Tibetan people. It is not in my hands. When I
meet Chinese people, they are often anxious that
Tibet should never be separated from China. I
always make it clear to them: “It is up to you!
If you treat Tibetans as genuine brothers and
sincerely, Tibetans will feel happy and will
remain with the people of China. That it is the
best guarantee that Tibet will never be
separated. If you treat Tibetans like
second-class citizens and bully them, how can
expect them [to remain with you]?”

[Ultimately] even if I sign some kind of
agreement on paper, the Tibetan people will not
care. China should be like India, a democratic
country. Despite the differences in culture,
language, you have freedom here, you can express
yourselves, the rule of law prevails.

And the press is free, if there is any problem in
this country, it immediately reported. A
totalitarian regime is a close society. It looks
stable and peaceful, but underneath there is a
lot of resentment. Look at former Soviet Union or
Yugoslavia under Tito, it looked very stable, resentment was suppressed.

In the case of China, it is the same. 95% of the
Tibetans are resentful. In Xinjiang or Inner
Mongolia, you will find the same percentage of
resentment. Recently I met some Mongolian
students and scholars who live in Japan.
According to them, the Mongolian population in
Inner Mongolia is 5 or 6 millions, this
constitutes only 20% of the population; this
means that there is more than 20 millions of Chinese.

There should be some restrictions like in India.
For example in Himachal, outsiders cannot purchase land.

Claude Arpi: Why are you not seeking independence?

Dalai Lama: The reason is Tibet is backward
materially. Spiritually, it was highly advanced
because of our Indian gurus. Today, I told the
Tibetan community [in Ahmedabad] about
Shankarakshita and Kamalashita, two great monks
from Nalanda Monastery. These two Buddhist
teachers came to Tibet and died in Tibet.

They were very famous. They established what we
call today Tibetan Buddhist. Till today, we have
kept sincerely and faithfully the tradition that
these Nalanda masters taught us. Spiritually, we
had the most advanced spiritual tradition. Quite
a large number of well-known scientists who have
quite a sharp mind, who always question, have
shown a genuine interest about Tibetan Buddhist science.

Even French are showing interest in Tibetan
Buddhism. Some newspapers say that one million
French are interested by Buddhism. This does not
come out of blind faith, in most of the cases. They investigate, they analyze.

We can therefore conclude that as far as
spirituality is concerned, Tibet is highly
developed. But materially, it is very backward.

At the same time, every Tibetan wants a modern
Tibet, for this reason it is better for us to
remain within the People’s Republic of China. We
can get greater benefits as far as material
development is concerned. This is why we are not
asking for independence. But because we have a
centuries-old cultural heritage including our own
language, our own script and a special
environment, we should therefore have a meaningful autonomy.

Except defence and foreign affairs, all other
subjects can be handled by the Tibetans
themselves. Fifteen, twenty years a group of
editors came to see me at Dharamsala, I jokingly
told them that defence and foreign affairs can be
looked after by Chinese Central Government. The
reason is that we cannot imagine ourselves
shooting an Indian. We will never do.

Claude Arpi: Recently you mentioned that the
Fifteenth Dalai Lama could be a woman. Could you elaborate?

Dalai Lama: It is not new. In Tibet, the
tradition of having reincarnated teachers is
almost 700 years old. Amongst them, there is the
institution of a female reincarnation.

But till today, all past reincarnation of the
Dalai Lamas have been male. In future, in case a
female Dalai Lama is more useful to the Buddha
Dharma or to the Tibetan nation, then why not to have a woman as reincarnation?

Sometimes, I jokingly say that if a Tibetan lady
Dalai Lama comes, she will be very, very
attractive. It will be more useful, because every
male will become followers (laughs).

I would like to add something.

In human history, a few hundred thousand years
ago, there was some equality in human society.
Family members were hunting together, collecting
roots together. All worked together. There was no
concept of leader, all were equal. With the
increase of the population, some created
mischief, cheated, stole. Because this has
happened, someone had to be the leader.

At that time there was not any kind of education,
the leadership depended entirely on physical
strength. This marks the beginning of male
dominance. Then eventually, language came to be
used and education started playing a role.

In modern times, we had very effective woman
leadership. In India, you have the example of
Indira Gandhi who, despite some incidents, was
very dynamic. Also in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Israel
and the UK, women have been leaders. Germany has
today a very strong leader, Ms Merkel, who stands by her principles.

But today, I feel that education alone cannot
solve all our contemporary problems, we need more
emphasis on compassion. Due to biological
factors, women are more sensitive about others
[human beings], they are more compassionate. Men
are more aggressive; often more tough. Take war heroes, they are mostly men.

Therefore, female rule for humanity is perhaps
more important than ever, we need not only
education but also warmth, sensitivity and
compassion. Women are more equipped for this.

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