By Kalsang Rinchen
Dharamsala, October 8 - His Holiness the Dalai Lama has called on the Chinese leadership to release Liu Xiaobo and other "prisoners of conscience" who have been imprisoned for exercising their freedom of expression in China.
The Tibetan leader has made the call in a statement to congratulate Liu, a jailed Chinese dissident who was declared the winner of 2010 Nobel peace prize on Friday.
His Holiness said the award is the international community’s recognition of the increasing voices among the Chinese people in "pushing China towards political, legal and constitutional reforms."
The Tibetan leader, who along with former Czech president Vaclav Havel and Archbishop Desmond Tutu supported Liu for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, said he has been "personally moved as well as encouraged by the efforts of hundreds of Chinese intellectuals and concerned citizens, including Mr. Liu Xiaobo in signing the Charter 08, which calls for democracy and freedom in China."
"I expressed my admiration in a public statement on 12 December 2008, two days after it was released and while I was on a visit to Poland. I believe in the
years ahead, future generations of Chinese will be able to enjoy the fruits of the efforts that the current Chinese citizens are making towards responsible governance."
The Tibetan leader said the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s recent comments on freedom of speech being indispensable for any country and people’s wish for democracy and freedom being irresistible are a "reflection of the growing yearning for a more open China."
"Such reforms can only lead to a harmonious, stable and prosperous China, which can contribute greatly to a more peaceful world."