October 24, 2010
   Posted in News Flash
Published By Tashi

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Underlines Preservation of Tibetan Language[Sunday, 23 October 2010, 9:48 a.m.]

 Toronto Mayor David
Miller (R) checks his cell phone while singing the Canadian national
anthem beside His Holiness the Dalai Lama during a ceremony at the
Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto on 23 October 2010/PHOTO:REUTERS

Toronto, Ontario:
Responding to media queries on the Chinese government plans to replace
Tibetan with Mandarin as the medium of instruction, His Holiness the
Dalai Lama said “China is historically a Buddhist country and the
preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist culture was also in the interest
of the millions of Chinese who are looking for spiritual sustenance”.During
a half an hour meeting with the press in Toronto on Saturday, His
Holiness talked about the “Tibetan language and how it has helped in
promoting Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhist culture”. His
Holiness said “China may want to learn from the Indian experience where
preservation and promotion of the linguistic diversity is being done
without that being seen as a danger of separation”.Another
question about how His Holiness thought the Tibetan issue could be
resolved given that the nine rounds of talks have not borne results and
given the attitude of the Communist Chinese. His Holiness talked about
the historical development of Tibetan-Chinese relationship in the past
several centuries.  He said relations have been good at time with even
marital and spiritual ties being established while at times there has
been negative development, with wars having been waged with Tibetans.His
Holiness recalled the former Panchen Lama having said in 1989, just
before his sudden death, that if we compare the positive outcome of
China’s policies in Tibet with that of the negative, the negative
outweigh the positive.His Holiness talked about his meetings
with Chairman Mao and other Chinese leaders during his visit to Beijing
in 1954-55 and how impressed he was with their idealism, like that of
the Indian freedom fighters. He was very attracted by this that he even
wanted to join the Chinese Communist Party. He said in terms of
socio-economic theory he considered himself a Marxist, although not a
Leninist or a Stalinist. However, subsequently power corrupted Mao and
these leaders.  Today, he said that the Party was becoming corrupted
and on account of their weakness, the authorities have to indulge in
censorship.But the 1.3 billion Chinese have a right to know the
reality and the 1.3 billion Chinese people have the capability to judge
what is right and wrong, His Holiness said. He said that it is immoral
for the Chinese government to censor their own people and that
censorship and distorted information creates mistrust. China can
indulge in censorship only within its borders and cannot do so in the
outside world, including in Canada.His Holiness said that he
supported President Hu Jintao’s call for building a harmonious society,
but said that this can come about only when there is trust.  Censorship
only brings about distrust and using force engenders fear, which are
opposite of a harmonious society, he said.Once China becomes
open and a free society, the Tibetan issue can be solved, he said
adding that this is because we were not seeking separation.He
said every Tibetan desire material development suggesting that Tibetans
who come to Canada do so not because there is spirituality here but
more because of the money. Tibetans, too, want to be happy, he added.His
Holiness said for many decades he had been trying to reach out to
Chinese people but there was reluctance from their side. Following the
Tiananmen development, it was much easier to get responses from the
Chinese.  He added that after the 2008 crisis in Tibet more and more
Chinese have started paying attention to the Tibetan issue and he had
been advising Tibetans to work towards the establishment of
Chinese-Tibetan friendship groups to promote mutual understanding.His
Holiness said he was a Tibetan and had the name of the Dalai Lama.  He
added that the Tibetans in Tibet as well as outside have full trust in
him and so it was his moral responsibility to resolve the Tibetan
problem.To a question on whether India had any role in the
Tibetan dialogue process with China, His Holiness said that India’s
moral support is always there. He talked about the historical and
cultural relationship between India and Tibet quoting the late Indian
Prime Minister Morarji Desai who said the civilizations of Tibet and
India were like two branches of the same Bodhi tree. Ecologically,
millions of Indians depend on water from rivers that emerge in Tibet,
he said as a way to show why India is concerned about developments in
Tibet. However, on the negotiations with China, His Holiness said that
it was our preference to have direct talks with the Chinese side and
that India did not play a role there.His Holiness talked about
why he called himself a son of India.  He said this was nothing to do
with politics but was a reality based on India being the source of
Tibetan spiritual heritage. He joked that if his brain was looked at it
can be seen that the content are all knowledge propagated by the Indian
Nalanda masters. Turning to a journalist who was of Indian origin, His
Holiness pointed to his own body and said that it survived last 51
years from Indian dhal and Indian chapati.In response to a
question whether the Nobel Prize to Liu Xiaobo would help or hinder
democracy in China, His Holiness said that, in the long run, there is
no doubt the prize to a person dedicated to greater openness will
encourage democracy in China. However, he said he doesn’t know how it
would play in the short term. “We’ll have to see,” he said adding that
it could also be that the Chinese Government may pose obstacles and
become defiant. He said that voices in favor of democracy, the rule of
law, liberalization and transparency are growing in China.A
journalist said he was asking a question sent by a reader. The reader
wondered as to the reason behind His Holiness was constantly jolly. 
His Holiness responded that it was spontaneous and there was no
particular reason.  He joked that may be scientists could do some
research on this. His Holiness said that there may be a genetic reason
adding that all his brothers and sisters – except one brother who is
stern – were jovial.He also said it might come from cultural
heritage and geography. He said Tibet was a vast land with a small
population and human contact brings joy.  He said unlike urban areas
like Toronto and New York, which have too many people, in rural areas
where the population is less people still have such a spirit.His
Holiness said he had constantly been advising people to have a
realistic approach and so he should be practicing the same himself. He
quoted the 8th century Indian master Shantideva about not having to
worry if a problem has a solution and about there being no use of
worrying of there was no solution.  For certain things that are beyond
our control, His Holiness said worry too much over them was a form of
self-torture.[Report filed by Bhuchung K Tsering]

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