DHARAMSHALA, September 5: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said he is hopeful to return to Tibet as “things are changing”.
The 79 year old Nobel laureate said in an interview to SBS TV on 54th Tibetan Democracy Day that it is difficult to get things improved in Tibet but things are changing and Chinese government should accept some liberalization in political field. “I always looked, last 60 years, like Chairman Mao’s era, I consider an era of ideology. Then, Deng Xiaoping – they find economy more important than just ideology. So, Deng Xiaoping’s era concentrated on the economic field. Now, in some ways, China a becomes a capitalist country. Socialist country – socialist, just a name. So now, Xi Jinping era. There’s not much choice but to accept some liberalization in political field.”
He further noted that China should find more scientific or more realistic methods to build a happy country than relying on the use of force. “You use force, you create fear. Fear destroys trust. Trust is the basis of harmony. The hardliner believes harmony and unity can be brought by force. That’s totally unscientific, totally wrong.”
On self-immolation protests in Tibet, His Holiness said it is “very, very sad” and that the Chinese government should investigate its cause. Rejecting the accusation by Chinese government of instigating the self-immolation protests in Tibet, 79-year-old Tibetan leader said, “That is the hardliners’ official view. There is tremendous sadness about the restriction, about Tibetan religious study.”
He also added that self-immolation is an act of non-violence, instead of harming other people; they restrain just to sacrifice their own life. Since 2009, 131 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet protesting against China’s occupation of Tibet and its hard-line policies.
The Chinese government has responded to the self-immolations with even harsher policies, criminalizing the fiery protests and sentencing scores of people to heavy prison terms on charges of “intentional homicide” for their alleged roles in self-immolation protests. Chinese officials have barred Tibetans from offering prayers and showing solidarity with families of self-immolators and announced the cancellation of development funds to those villages where self-immolations have taken place.
Speaking about his retirement from the political affairs, the Tibetan Nobel laureate said he rejects theocracy and called it “old” and “outdated”.
“So I must act according to the first century’s new reality. From my childhood, I saw a lot from our old system. Ultimately, because power, in few people’s hand – no independent judiciary, so since my childhood – very critical about this situation.”
In 2011, despite persistent appeals by Tibetans, the Dalai Lama, devolved all his political authority to the elected Tibetan leadership of Dr Lobsang Sangay, declaring the fulfillment of his “long-cherished goal” of bringing democracy to the Tibetan people.
By Phuntsok Yangchen via www.phayul.com