Nov 04, 2008

Tibet: Chinese Scholars Meet Dalai Lama

Active ImageChinese Scholars find the Dalai Lama ‘transparent and trustworthy’ and urge him to continue talks with Chinese leadership.
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A group of Chinese scholars have expressed their wish for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to be in Beijing and to speak with the Chinese leadership on Tibet. Fourteen Chinese scholars working in Japan, mostly as teachers of politics, of religion, of ethnic studies and other such subjects met with His Holiness Dalai Lama in a small private meeting, said Tsewang Gyalpo Arya, an official from the Liaison Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Japan & East Asia, in Japan.

During the meeting, which lasted for more than two hours, the Chinese scholars put forward questions ranging from clarifications on the history of Tibet's relations with China, on His Holiness’ contacts with the government in Beijing and on his plans for the future.

After listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Chinese scholars did not hesitate to express their wish that His Holiness could visit Beijing and speak with the Chinese leadership on his stated positions.

During the discussion, His Holiness described in detail his dealings with Mao Zedong in 1954, how Chairman Mao used to treat him at times like a son, and how His Holiness admired many aspects of the socialist system.

His Holiness also recalled how Chairman Mao had said that China would help Tibet in material development for the next 20 years, and then a strong and powerful Tibet would be in a position to help China.

His Holiness emphasised that he had always supported the success of Olympic Games in China and the need for Tibet to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China for economic development.

Despite his diminishing faith in the Chinese government for their lack of positive response on resolving the issue of Tibet, His Holiness reiterated that he always has faith and trust in the Chinese people.
His Holiness underlined that “unity must come from mutual trust and equality.”

His Holiness told the Chinese scholars that the future of Tibetans in Tibet must be decided by Tibetans in Tibet and reiterated that Tibet is not a private issue of the Dalai Lama. “It is the issue of Tibet as a whole and we are completely committed to democracy,” His Holiness said.

Later in the afternoon, His Holiness held an extensive discussion on Tibet during a meeting with a large group Chinese, which included 150 students and some 50 Chinese living in Japan.

His Holiness said he considers Chinese Buddhists as senior students of the Buddha, and Tibetan Buddhists, as a younger student, respect their elders.

His Holiness said despite the disturbances in Tibet this year [2008], Tibetans are not against the Chinese people and he always feel happy to meet new Chinese friends during his visits.

One Chinese present at the meeting explained how his view on His Holiness the Dalai Lama changed completely after attending his talks in Yokohama last year [2007]. He said how he had always believed in the Chinese government’s propaganda on His Holiness.

He said the fact that His Holiness the Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize made him think that there must be something that speaks to the world. This made him attend the talk the Dalai Lama offered in Yokohama.

Since then, he said, he found the Dalai Lama was transparent and trustworthy, and had been telling his Chinese friends to listen and to open up their minds and ears.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s afternoon meeting with Chinese student and individual groups revolved mostly around the issue of Tibet and those Tibetans who are skeptical of his Middle Way policy in resolving Tibet’s issue.

“The whole world believes that I am working for unity, except the Chinese government,” His Holiness told the Chinese groups. "So what can I do?" he said after pausing for a while.

His Holiness said he had asked the Chinese government to send people to come to Dharmasala to investigate Central Tibetan Administration files and to listen to recordings of what he said during his meetings with people from Tibet, in order to see if he had really incited the unrest in Tibet. His Holiness said the Chinese government did not respond to undertake such an objective investigation.

His Holiness also took time to explain information which he received from Tibetans about Chinese government’s repressive measures in recent months after the March unrest in Tibet this year [2008].

His Holiness devoted the remaining part of the prolonged discussion talking on compassion and interdependence, the two central principles of Buddhism. The Chinese listeners applauded and request His Holiness to guide them on how to become a better person.

His Holiness said told them: “If your mind is calm, everything will improve”.

“Therefore, if we are looking for happiness, we should be kind to others," His Holiness the Dalai Lama said before concluding his discussion.