We are not seeking separation: His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Friday, 13 June 2008, 2:07 p.m.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama discusses the issue of Tibet with Kerry O’Briens, ABC reporter.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing mediapersons during a visit in Sydney,
KERRY O’BRIEN: Your
Holiness, you have described what is going on in Tibet as cultural
genocide. How severe? How rapid a genocide in your terms?
HIS HOLINESS: My expression, like this: whether intentionally,
or unintentionally, some kind of cultural genocide is taking place.
Word genocide qualified right from the beginning. The reason, in fact,
is the administration in autonomous area and also outside of the
mission of Tibet, Chinese officials put a lot of restrictions –
Tibetans study. And last year, or, I think two years ago, I met with
some Tibetan student who came from mainland China from Tibet, and study
in America. Some of them, see, cannot speak Tibetan, only Chinese. So,
since they are majority of the population, the minority Tibetan in
their daily life, they have to use Chinese language rather than
Tibetan. So, these are unintentionally some kind of – all elements of
the situation, the Tibetan culture, heritage, including language –
KERRY O’BRIEN: It must concern you, if that continues for uninterrupted long enough, then Tibetan culture disappears, or becomes very weak?
HIS HOLINESS: Yes, yes. Would die.
KERRY O’BRIEN: You’ve argued Tibet’s case to the world and to
China for decades now. Do you think the fact that younger Tibetan
protesters have become more militant this year – the fact that they
have – reflects some frustration at the failure of your leadership and
your dialogue to force change in Tibet?
HIS HOLINESS: Yes, it is true now a growing sort of feeling of
frustration now growing among Tibetan is understandable. So, the
criticism towards my stand also increasing. Sometimes they won’t listen
to my suggestions or my advice. But, of course, I respect – you see,
they are utilising freedom of speech, freedom of heart. I’m always
telling them I have no authority to say, “Shut up”. It is up to you.
KERRY O’BRIEN: But you have a moral authority?
HIS HOLINESS: Oh, yes. Even those people, I think they love me,
they respect me, but in certain views, they have different. But as far
as violence and non-violence is concerned, I think generally Tibetan,
you see, including youth organisation, generally they support, they
agree, non-violent principle. But some individual, one or two – that’s
a different question.
KERRY O’BRIEN: You have urged Tibetans not to demonstrate
against the Olympic torch, but do you sympathise with those who see the
torch route through Tibet itself as a provocation?
HIS HOLINESS: Our citizens do not seeking separation and then,
moreover, the Olympic Games. I think, over a billion Chinese brother
and sisters really feel proud of it. Therefore, we must respect. So, in
the past, many occasions I appeal, including Tibetan, should not
disturb that sort of ceremony, or even torch. For example, after
incidents in London and Paris because of the disturbances, so I
particularly, specifically appeal to Tibetan community in San
Francisco, don’t make disturbances. I appeal. So, in visit in area of
Tibet, I personally feel may not much disturbances. It’s better. Not
KERRY O’BRIEN: Do you think that China’s long-term strategy is
simply to wait you out. That you are the most effective focus of
resistance on Tibet? That if they simply wait you out in the
expectation that you’re gone, that you will be gone one day, and at
that point what is left of Tibetan resistance will fade away?
HIS HOLINESS: There are two opinions since early ’80s – there
are two opinions even among the Chinese. One opinion, yes, Dalai Lama
as a troublemaker. So, after he gone, he pass away, the thing’s
automatically solved. That’s one opinion. Another opinion is better
while that troublemaker remains there, you can deal.
KERRY O’BRIEN: Not quite like dealing with the devil?
HIS HOLINESS: Yes, devil, with horn. One say, “That demon,
gone.” Then nobody can truly represent or in other words, I think I’m
popular among Tibetan. I’m, I think, I don’t know. I think if I say
Tibetan, I think generally, listen. Majority, certainly majority of
them listen. Therefore, while such person alive, it is better to find
KERRY O’BRIEN: I assume that even the Dalai Lama acknowledges
human frailty. What negative emotion do you personally have the most
HIS HOLINESS: Anger – sometimes.
KERRY O’BRIEN: Is that right? How do you deal with it? What makes you angry?
HIS HOLINESS: If you ask some silly questions again and again, then I may lose my temper.
KERRY O’BRIEN: But you haven’t lost your temper today?
HIS HOLINESS: Yes. One time in New York, in America. One New York Times – what do you call?
DALAI LAMA’S ASSISTANT: Columnist.
HIS HOLINESS: Columnist. One lady asked me, “What is your, sort
of, legacy after me?” And I told, “I’m Buddhist practitioner. I cannot
think about my name after me”. So, important is while I alive I should
do something useful for other. Then she again that same question. Then
I answer same way. Then, third time – then I lost my temper.
KERRY O’BRIEN: So, how do you deal with anger?
HIS HOLINESS: But I think the basic mental attitude, I think,
through training. If you’re basic mind calm, then anger come, go, comes
and go. Not remain.
KERRY O’BRIEN: And that’s the important thing?
HIS HOLINESS: Yeah, that’s important.
KERRY O’BRIEN: Not hanging onto your anger.
HIS HOLINESS: No, no. Within minute, it go. Now, for example,
after 10 March, a lot of anxiety, a lot of sadness and also feeling of
helplessness. So, intelligence level, a lot of disturbances. But
things, you see, on deeper mind, I think through years, years training
of mind, so senses are quite calm. So, these disturbances on
intelligence level may not disturb much deeper level. So, at least, in
spite of the many, sort of, worry, I think one indication, since last,
now, more than two months, 10 March, when I give some sort of lecture
on Buddhism, my mind not that much clear. I think that’s I think as
disturbances in my intelligence level. But, you see, these disturbances
never destroy my sleep. So that, I think, at a deeper level, still calm
mind. I feel like that.
KERRY O’BRIEN: And on that note, we’ll have to end the interview. But thank you very much for talking with us today. Thank you.
HIS HOLINESS: Thank you, thank you.
KERRY O’BRIEN: Some well-timed advice from the Dalai Lama on anger management and finding the inner peace.
–The above interview is reprinted from abc online news www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s2273196.htm. Kerry O’Brien, ABC reporter, interviewed His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 12 June 2008.