His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the Olympics
28 May, 2001
(At the White House media stakeout, one of the questions was about the Dalai Lama’s position on China’s bid for the Olympics. He seemed pleased to get the question and took time to clarify his position because some of his earlier comments have been taken out of context.)
“Now this is a very complex issue. This question I was first asked in Taipei. From one level, purely as sport, China is a great and ancient nation, and deserves to the event. But Chinese government has too much politicised this event. Therefore, many organisations including the Tibetan government in exile are against that. Because of human rights violations, environmental concerns and religious freedom – so many negative things – so whether to ignore negative events or awarding them. Judging from that, this is very critical.
Therefore, I feel those Chinese intellectuals, thinkers and people who are involved in the democracy movement – I want to know what the opinion of the majority of those Chinese as to whether the Olympics will help promote democracy and openness in China. If they feel the Chinese government has too much politicised, then it would demoralise these freedom fighters involved in the democratic struggle. So then, this even may sort of demoralise – world not care – then China should not take.
I always look from various angles – it may make me more indecisive. … [indecipherable] … I think those organisations, Tibetan communities, Tibet supporters and other organisations – I think they should carry this movement so that this reminds the international community and decision makers that there are some problems. Decision-makers should have the opportunity to hear both sides. I have told some students – there are demonstrations, go ahead – good.”
– Courtesy: International Campaign for Tibet