Dalai Lama: China ‘softening’ on Tibet


November 18, 2013 3:45 pm

[Source: Bangkok Post]

The new Chinese leadership under President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang and the modern-day Chinese intelligentsia are more receptive to the Tibetan cause and Tibetans’ demand for high-level autonomy, exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said on Thursday.

The Dalai Lama said that lately more Chinese intellectuals, retired government officials, and writers have started supporting his middle-way approach of seeing more autonomy for Tibet and therefore feels that the hardliners in China are “feeling isolated”.

“I feel many Chinese people, writers are supporting our middle-way approach. In a way, the hard-liners among the Chinese officials now seem becoming more isolated,” he stated in an exclusive interview with Kyodo News one day ahead of his scheduled visit to Japan.

“Many intellectuals, writers, army officials, senior officials are not supporting the hard-liner approach. They are for something practical, they feel the hard-liner approach as not good for the long run, so things are changing,” he added.

Asking the Chinese leadership to preserve the Tibetan language and culture in Tibet, the spiritual leader said that his time-tested middle-way approach of asking for autonomy, and not complete independence, is best suited for Tibetans.

Regarding the increasing number of self-immolations by Tibetan youths, he said that instead of blaming him for such incidents the Chinese administration must investigate the causes or reasons behind such cases. He further stated that his fellow Tibetans were living in an “unbearable situation” in Tibet, and that he felt helpless as he did not have anything to offer to them.

In a message to the people in northeastern Japan still enduring difficult conditions since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, he said that the Japanese are determined and hard-working people, and that he was confident they would rebuild their homes with strong determination.