His Holiness addressing the closing ceremony of the World Parliamentarians' Convention on Tibet
Edinburgh: "We are not seeking independence. We are seeking genuine autonomy within the constitutional framework of the People's Republic of China," His Holiness the Dalai Lama reiterated in his address to the Fourth World Parliamentarians' Convention on Tibet Saturday last.
The spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet said that when Tibet achieves genuine autonomy, he will hand over his powers to the local Tibetan government, which he said will eventually be an elected government.
Highlighting the importance of preserving Tibetan culture, His Holiness said it will also enrich the culture of the People's Republic of China, adding that he is gratified by the fact that many Chinese in the Mainland appreciate the value of Tibetan culture.
In his address to the closing ceremony of the convention, His Holiness appreciated the parliamentarians and participants for their support for the just cause of Tibet and said that this gathering should not be misconstrued as anti-China.
Of his two hands, His Holiness said, the left hand beckons the international community for support only because the right hand, extended in friendship towards China, has received no response. Once China grasps the right hand, the left hand will join the effort, His Holiness said.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama also narrated an interesting anecdote about his meeting with Chairman Mao during his visit to China in 1954. When His Holiness said that the purpose of sending the People's Liberation Army and Chinese officials were to help Tibet, Chairman Mao responded by saying that once Tibet is developed, these personnel would be withdrawn. Again when Mao asked if Tibet had a flag, His Holiness replied yes. Mao then said Tibet could keep the flag and hoist it along with the Chinese national flag.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama narrated this is as an indication of broad-minded thinking.
His Holiness also highlighted the importance of safeguarding Tibet's environment, citing that most of the rivers of Asia, the livelihood of millions of people, originate from Tibet.
In his concluding remarks, His Holiness expressed his hope that the situation in Tibet will improve during the leadership of President Hu Jintao.