By Tenzin Dharpo
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, file photo.
DHARAMSHALA, Sept. 9: Exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that he is “worried” about the turmoil and the ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong, and urged dialogue while dealing with the crisis that has gone on for more than three months.
Speaking to Taiwan’s Hakka TV recently, the Dalai Lama said that dialogue should be the means to resolve the impasse over the clashes between the common Hong Kongers and the country’s police over the demands of its people and Beijing’s overextended influence in the country. He said, “I think it’s best for every place to maintain peace. Peace is very important. We can resolve any problem through dialogue, rather than negative actions in response to anger, which are useless. These disturbances caused by the disputes are very serious. What I can do is limited. I can only pray for them.”
Responding to the ‘one country, two systems’ model of Hong Kong, the Tibetan leader said, “When Deng Xiaoping created ‘one country, two systems,’ it was very practical, very good, but in recent weeks, a lot of disputes happened. I feel a little worried.”
Despite Hong Kong’s highest political authority, its Chief Executive Carrie Lam formally withdrawing the proposed extradition bill last week, which initially sparked the protests, Hong Kongers have expressed their determination to continue its protests until free elections are held in the country.
Protests and violent clashes continued in the weekend. On Monday, hundreds of uniformed school students from over 120 schools, many wearing masks, came out in solidarity with anti-government protests, forming a human chain in districts across Hong Kong adding yet another grassroots dimension to the protest against the government that is heavily controlled by Beijing.
The Hong Hong police said they have arrested 157 people over the weekend, bringing the total number of arrests to 1,300 since the protests began over three months ago.
Also speaking on Taiwan, another country that is also being claimed by China, the octogenarian Tibetan leader said, “Taiwanese should not become demoralized, but should keep up their enthusiasm, and most importantly, maintain their non-violent, peaceful ways.”