INVERNESS: His Holiness the Dalai Lama has disapproved the Chinese government’s censorship policy as morally wrong, saying the country’s 1.3 billion people have a right to know the truth.
“Totalitarian regimes like China’s have for several decades depended far too much on cruelty, so fear and distrust are part of their atmosphere. This is why they try to conceal reality,” His Holiness said in an interview with the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) in Inverness, Scotland, on Saturday. INSP is the publishers of the magazine known in Britain as The Big Issue, but whose material appears in 122 publications, in 40 countries, in 24 languages.
“The 1.3 billion Chinese have a right to know the reality of their situation and they have the ability on that basis to judge right from wrong. For this reason, censorship and restricting people’s movements are morally wrong and limit their creativity,” he said.
“This approach is short-sighted and has to change. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao too has spoken about the need for change and even democracy in China,” he added.
On the issue of Tibet, he said, “We are conducting a non-violent struggle in the spirit of reconciliation. It is worth supporting, because it must succeed. Our failure will support those who argue that you can only achieve your goals through force and violence.”
He said nearly all the major rivers in that part of the world rise on the Tibetan plateau, which affects not only Tibetans, but about 1 billion people elsewhere in Asia.
“The other priority is preserving our peaceful and compassionate culture, which I believe continues to have a contribution to make in the world today,” he said.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama said the self-immolations of Tibetans are very sad, but show a commitment to non-violence in that the people who have taken this step don’t want to harm others. “However, they are a clear sign of desperation,” he added.