MILAN: His Holiness the Dalai Lama told a television interviewer in Italy that the Chinese authorities must seek truth from facts as recommended by their paramount leader Deng Xiaoping and investigate the underlying causes behind the tragic self-immolations of Tibetans.
When asked for comment about the series of self-immolations that have lately taken place in Tibet, His Holiness said that due to the politically sensitive nature of the issue he prefers to keep silent.
“However, these sad events are evidently not taking place because the concerned individuals have family problems. The Chinese authorities must investigate what the cause is, what’s wrong to provoke such desperate acts,” he said.
He further said: “After former premier Hu Yaobang, who was a good Communist, visited Lhasa in 1980 he publicly apologised for what had happened in Tibet and promised to reduce the Han population. As Deng Xiaoping recommended, the Chinese authorities should seek truth from facts.”
“When Hu Jintao became President and made known his aim to ensure harmony in society, I supported it. But the right method for achieving that is to create trust, whereas they think they can achieve it through force, which is illogical. The use of force contradicts any efforts to create trust,” His Holiness said.
“The Tibetan spirit will never be cowed down by the use of force. It is rooted in Buddhism, a tradition that is more than 2500 years old, whose image in the world is on the rise. Communism, on the other hand is barely 200 years old and its image is on the wane, while totalitarianism is completely out of date,” he said.
International Support is Very Helpful
Speaking to Italian broadcaster TG1 the day earlier, His Holiness was asked how the international community can help Tibet in the current circumstances. His Holiness drew attention to the number of Chinese intellectuals and retired officials who have expressed concern and are critical of Chinese policy in Tibet.
“Internationally there is interest in Tibet’s ecology and the damage that is being done, concern about the survival of Tibet’s culture of peace and compassion and growing interest in Tibetan Buddhism as one of the most complete presentations of the Buddha’s teachings,” he said.
“At a government level there is a need to consider economic relations with China, but just as Chinese people are showing concern about Tibet, international support is very helpful,” he added.