by Bhuchung D Sonam
Waldorf Astoria, New York City: In his continuous effort to build a viable connection with Chinese people, His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with over 120 scholars and dissidents. They include Harry Wu, Dr. Yang Jian Li, Xu Wen Li, Hu Ping, and many others.
“My body looks the same, but one organ missing,” began His Holiness referring to his gallbladder operation last year. “But my health is very good.”
After a big round of applause, the Tibetan leader drove straight to the heart of the matter by appealing to the Chinese people to “investigate thoroughly” about Tibet-China problem by going to Tibet.
“If 60-70 percent of the Tibetans are happy in Tibet, we have nothing to complain,” the Dalai Lama said, who further mentioned that if that is not the case, then the Chinese Government must realize that things are not right inside Tibet.
Since the Chinese Communist Party refuses to accept the reality in Tibet, the 73-year-old Tibetan leader said that the Chinese scholars, intellectuals and students must make Tibetan issue clear to Chinese people living inside China.
Massive Chinese official propaganda has created a huge misunderstanding between the Chinese and Tibetans, sometimes leading to animosity.
“I always try to meet with Chinese intellectuals. Because the Tibetan problem must be solved between Han brothers and sisters and Tibetans and no one else,” the Nobel laureate said.
While responding to a question from Xu Wen Li about Tibetan demand for “Greater Tibet,” the Dalai Lama said that for a cultural survival and for practical realistic reasons all of Tibet must be united.
“We are not talking about independence. Hence if I talk only about a section of Tibet it will not be right. I am fighting for rights mentioned in the constitution [of China.] All of Tibet must be given equal rights in terms of culture and tradition,” His Holiness said.
According to the 1989 Nobel laureate, it is important for China to gradually move towards a more open democratic society but not in the footsteps of Soviet Union.
“The Communist Party has reigned long enough,” the Dalai Lama said. “Now it is time for a retirement.”