Friday, 22 November 2013

The Tibetan spirit is becoming stronger and will long remain so: H.H. The Dalai Lama

Ms Yoshiko Sakurai interviewing His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Tokyo, Japan on November 21, 2013. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL
"I am a promoter of democracy, which is why I have brought the role of the Dalai Lamas in Tibetan political affairs to an end. 

When the PLA reached Tibet, they came under to slogan of liberation. The party members I met in 1954 were committed to creating a new society, an equal, classless society. Their economic outlook was Marxist and focussed on equal distribution, which I found attractive then and still feel sympathetic to now. However, in about 1956 they began to introduce a more totalitarian system; they became isolated from reality, which would continue until Deng Xiaoping began to open China up and stress the need to seek truth from facts. Jiang Zemin emphasised development, while Hu Jintao stressed the need for harmony. But to achieve it he employed force and suppression, which was quite the wrong method. Harmony must come from trust, which is the basis of friendship. When you have suspicion and fear instead, there will be no harmony. I sometimes think these leaders need lessons in basic psychology. Their so-called liberation has brought only misery and mistrust.

The new leader seems to be more realistic in his approach. He seems to admire Hu Yaobang who visited Lhasa in the ‘80s, apologised for what had happened and promised to a reduction of the Han population. He was the Youth Leader when I was in Peking.

The Tibetan spirit is becoming stronger and will long remain so, even though the situation now is so harsh. Meanwhile, China will change. During the Cultural Revolution, drastic action was taken to eliminate ‘old ways of thinking’ which failed. Religion, for example, is related to emotions and human feelings. The Chinese Buddhist population, reliable sources tell us, is now 400 million, with many of them interested in Tibetan Buddhism. I think Buddhism will survive.

Brothers and sisters, we spend too much time dividing people into ‘us’ and ‘them’, thinking that overcoming ‘them’ will be a victory for ‘us’. These days we are too interdependent for this to be true. Whether I’m speaking to an individual or a public gathering like this, I never think of myself as a Buddhist, a Tibetan or even as the Dalai Lama, which would only tend to set me apart from others. As human beings we are all the same. We all want a happy life and have a right to lead it, which is why I try to promote the idea of the oneness of humanity."

The above is an extract from the interview answers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Tokyo Followed by Public Talk in Shizuoka

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