Dalai Lama maintains ‘middle way’ for Tibet
Telegraph: The Dalai Lama has maintained his stand for a “middle way” of advanced autonomy in Tibet.Speaking at the University of Westminster on Tuesday, the Dalai Lama called for “realistic” expectations on Tibet’s future, reasserting his belief that “complete independence is … out of the question”. Such an approach paves the way for his potential return to Tibet after the Chinese government declared in April its “willingness for talks if the Dalai Lama truly gives up Tibetan independence”.
The Dalai Lama recognised the economic benefits that remaining part of China would bring to Tibet and yet also took time to criticise the “outdated” system of government in China, lamenting the lack of democracy, justice and freedom. In calling for accountability and elections, he stated that the Chinese people ‘have every right to know the reality’ of their situation. China could only play a constructive role in the world, he claimed, once it had gained international “respect and trust”.
He urged the Chinese government to learn from what he called the “success” of pluralism in India, where he has been in exile since 1959. Rather than attempting to “eliminate individualism”, the Chinese government should seek to emulate the diversity of language, religion and culture that enable the people of India “to happily remain within the union of the Indian republic.”
In commenting on the Iraq war, the Dalai Lama said that he considered George W. Bush a “close friend” and yet had “reservations” over policy in Iraq. He said that he believed the intention behind removing Saddam Hussein and installing democracy was right and yet the reality of violence always brought “unexpected consequences.”
He called the Israeli/Palestinian conflict “very sad”, whilst asserting that Shimon Peres is “committed to genuine peace.” The conflict would only be resolved if greater dialogue opened up between the two sides, he added.