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IN FRATERNAM MEAM
Saturday, December 11, 2004
10 QUESTIONS FOR THE DALAI LAMA
WHEN CHINA INVADED TIBET IN 1950, IT PROMISED
TO BRING MODERNITY
TO the isolated feudal kingdom.
Instead, it brought a reign of religious and cultural
repression that drove into exile the Tibetan government,
including its supreme religious and political leader,
the Dalai Lama. At his cottage in McLeod Gabj, India, 69,
spoke with Time's Alex Perry.

HOW IS THE SITUATION IN TIBET?
Despite some economic improvement and development, the
threats to our cultural heritage, religious freedom and
environment are serious. In the countryside, facilities in
education and health are very, very poor. It's like the big
gap in China proper between rich and poor.
- - - - - -

IS THERE ANY REASON FOR OPTIMISM?
Many communist and authoritarian regimes have changed,
including the Soviet Union, not by force but by their own people.
These are positive developments. China(still has)the same system,
but much is changing. Freedom of information, religious freedom
and freedom of the press are much better. So on that level,
the situation in Tibet is hopeful. Today quite a number of (chinese)
people are showing an interest in the preservation of Tibetan culture
and spirituality.
- - - - - -

HOW IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH BEIJING?
We renewed direct contact with Beijing three years ago. We're
not expecting some major breakthrough-- the Tibetan issue is
very complicated, and China is oversuspicious and very cautious.
It will take time, meeting face to face is very, very important.
- - - - - -

YOU'VE FACED SOME CRITICISM FOR GIVING UP TIBET'S FIGHT
FOR INDEPENDENCE
.
Some Tibetans accuse me of selling out their right to independence.
But my approach is in our interest. Tibet is backward. It's a big
land, rich in natural resources, but we lack the technology or
expertise (to exploit them). So if we remain within China, we might
get a greater benefit, provided it respects our culture and
environment and gives us some kind of guarantee.
- - - - - -

SOME SAY CHINA IS WAITING FOR YOU TO DIE.
There are two opinions. Some say, Yes, once the Dalai Lama passes
away, the whole Tibetan issue will die. Another opinion is that
the grievance will still be there or will even become stronger,
but there will be no one to guide and persuade Tibetans (so)
Tibet becomes more difficult to handle. Which is correct?
I donot know. Wait until my death. Then reality will answer.
- - - - - -

WOULD THE COHESION OF THE TIBETAN COMMUNITY DISAPPEAR WITHOUT YOU?
The Tibetan issue is the issue of a nation. So when one individual
passes away, that is a certain setback. But since it's an issue
of a nation, so long as the nation remains, the issue will remain.
- - - - - -

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE POSITION OF THE DALAI LAMA AFTER YOU?
The institution of the Dalai Lama, and whether it should continue or not,
is up to the Tibetan people. If they feel it is not relevant, then it
will cease. But if I dies today,I think they will want another Dalai Lama.
Will the Chinese government accept this?(No.), the Chinese government
most probably will appoint another Dalai Lama. like what it did with
the Panchen Lama-- one, the Dalai Lama of the Tibetan heart, and
one's that is officially appointed.
- - - - - -

IF INTERNATIONAL INTEREST AND PRESSURE ARE NOT MAINTAINED, DOES CHINA WIN?
China is already in a win-win situation in any case. It already
controls Tibet. But what do you mean by win or win lose?
This is complicated. We're not suggesting separation, (but)
that Tibet becomes more prosperous with China.
- - - - - - -

HOW MUCH HAS EXILE COST YOU PERSONALLY?
Of course, I lost my own country, and for more than 45 years.
I have been stateless. But I think I've had a very good
opportunity to learn new things, including other traditions.
- - - - - -

HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE?
If you look at the Tiber situation locally, then it's hopeless.
But from a wider perspective, it's hjopeful. (These are)
my last words on this. Not bad.

posted by infraternam meam @ 1:23 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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