Pressemeldungen - Nachrichten
Dalai Lama's Message to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao: Prove Your
Melinda Liu and Sudip Mazumdar, NEWSWEEK WEB EXCLUSIVE
March 20th, 2008
The Dalai Lama has said that if he were in a room with
Chinese President Hu Jintao or Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, he
said he would quote Deng Xiaoping and ask them to seek truth
from facts. Saying he had great respect for Premier Wen, the
Dalai Lama told NEWSWEEK, "I would also ask him, "Please prove
your recent accusations [that the Dalai Lama instigated the
unrest in Tibet."
Following is the full text of the Newsweek interview
Fears and Tears
In an exclusive interview, the Dalai Lama talks to NEWSWEEK
about the violence in Tibet, his vision of the future--and how
he manages to sleep in spite of his distress over the killings
As news spread of massive Chinese troop movements into Tibet,
and of hundreds of arrests, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown he was willing to talk with
the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama if he renounced
violence and gave up the idea of an independent Tibet --
conditions the Dalai Lama has met with past statements. During
an exclusive wide-ranging 45-minute interview with NEWSWEEK's
Melinda Liu and Sudip Mazumdar in the headquarters of the
Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India, the Dalai Lama
talked about his willingness to negotiate with Beijing, his
fears for the future, and how some government officials in China
have sent him private messages of sympathy. Excerpts:
NEWSWEEK: Do you think Chinese officials still hope their
problems in Tibet will disappear after you pass away?
The Dalai Lama: I don't know. I totally disagree with the
view that the Tibet struggle will die, and there will be no hope
for Tibet, after the Dalai Lama passes away. Both inside and
outside [Tibet], the older generation may go away, but the newer
generations carry the same spirit, sometimes it's even stronger.
So after my death a younger generation will come up.
If Wen Jiabao or [China's President] Hu Jintao were
sitting in this room in front of you, what would say to them?
I always like to quote Deng Xiaoping and say: please seek
truth from facts. It is very important. I would urge them to
find out what is really going on in Tibetan minds and what is
happening on the ground. This I want to tell the prime minister
Wen Jiabao, if he were to come here. Of course I have great
respect for both, particularly Wen Jiabao. He seems very gentle.
I would also ask him, "Please prove your recent accusations [that
the Dalai Lama instigated the unrest in Tibet.]"(Laughs)
Do you have back channels of communication to the Chinese
Not serious [ones]. The usual channels are still there.
Do new technologies -- cell phones, digital photography,
email and so on -- make it harder for authorities to control the
Do they make it impossible?
Now authorities are trying to control [things] by shutting
down these services. But it is very difficult to control
What's the difference between what's happening now and the
turmoil of the late '80s in Lhasa?
At that time it was mainly in Lhasa areas. And, yes, it is a
factor that images can be seen elsewhere. But it is mainly the [extent
of Tibetan] grievances. Today even Tibetan monks in Chinese
areas carry Tibetan flags. I am quite surprised [by the
prevalence of Tibetan dissatisfaction in areas far from Lhasa].
Now the entire Tibetan people have strong feelings. If [Chinese
authorities] truly treated the Tibetans as brothers and sisters
and as equals, giving them trust, then this would not happen.
Even privileged Tibetans who are in elite Minorities
Universities in Chinese cities such as Beijing and Lanzhou have
organized vigils and peaceful protests. Why?
Yes, yes if they're not satisfied you can imagine how nomads
feel. I occasionally meet affluent Tibetans who are economically
sound, who have good housing. I met one such person who first
told me he had no worries. Then he confessed [he felt] mental
anguish, and then he began to cry. As Tibetans they feel some
kind of subtle discrimination by the Chinese.
Are you worried about the possibility of greater violence
after you pass away?
Yes I worry about that. As long as I am alive, I am fully
committed to amity between Tibetans and Chinese. Otherwise,
there's no use. More importantly, the Tibetan Buddhist cultural
heritage can eventually help bring some deeper values to the
millions of Chinese youth who are lost in a [moral] vacuum.
After all China is traditionally a Buddhist country.
What more do you think the Chinese leadership wants you to
do to prove your sincerity? Wen Jiabao wants you to accept two
conditions-that you renounce Tibet's independence and renounce
violence - before dialogue can take place.
Last year in Washington, we had a meeting with some Chinese
scholars including some from mainland China who asked me what
guarantee is there that Tibet will not be separate from China
ever [in the future]. I told them that my statements won't help,
my signature won't help. The real guarantee is that the Tibetan
people should be satisfied. Eventually they should feel they
would get greater benefit if they remain with China. Once that
feeling develops, that will be the real guarantee that Tibet
will forever remain part of the People's Republic of China.
The Chinese government wants me to say that for many
centuries Tibet has been part of China. Even if I make that
statement, many people would just laugh. And my statement will
not change past history, History is history.
So my approach is -don't talk about the past. The past is
past, irrespective of whether Tibet was a part of China or not.
We are looking to the future. I truly believe that a new reality
has emerged. The times are different. Today different ethnic
groups and different nations come together due to common sense.
Look at the European Union, really great. What is the use of
small, small nations fighting each other? Today it's much better
for Tibetans to join [China]. That is my firm belief.
You've said that two government officials sent private
message of support to you. Is there a significant number of
officials in Tibet or other areas of mainland China who've shown
sympathy to you in private?
I am not sure but many ordinary Chinese, thousands, have come
here. And several senior officials have sent messages. I feel
very strongly that there will be a change [in the attitude of
the Chinese leadership]. Now the important thing is the Chinese
public should get to know the reality. They should have more
information about Tibet.
Will that be difficult? The Internet is heavily censored
inside China. As a result people tend to develop very polarized,
often very nationalistic views.
Yes, yes. You know till 1959 the Tibetan attitude toward the
Han Chinese was affectionate, very close, some thing normal.
Chinese traders in Lhasa used to be referred to with
affectionate respect. But of course, the name of communism is
feared in Tibet because of what happened in Mongolia, and to
part of the Buddhist community in the Soviet Union. Then the
Chinese communists entrenched themselves-more soldiers came and
their attitude became more aggressive, more harsh. Even at that
time we complained about these "bad communists" but we never
said "bad Chinese", never.
During the last 20 years I have met a lot of Tibetans from
Tibet -- students, government officials and businessmen. They
express great dissatisfaction. Now some of them refer to Chinese
people in a derogatory manner. Even in prison there is a
division between Chinese and Tibetan inmates. This I think is
very bad. This must change. Not through harsh [measures] -- that
would just harden the stands - but by developing trust. I think
real autonomy can restore that trust. As far I am concerned I'm
totally dedicated towards this goal. It is not just politics. My
aim is to create a happy society with genuine friendship.
Friendship between Tibetan and Chinese peoples is very
Some images of the recent casualties have been graphic and
disturbing. Have you seen them? What was your reaction? We heard
Yes I cried once. One advantage of belonging to the Tibetan
Buddhist culture is that at the intellectual level there is a
lot of turmoil, a lot of anxiety and worries but at the deeper,
emotional level there is calm. Every night in my Buddhist
practice I give and take. I take in Chinese suspicion. I give
back trust and compassion. I take their negative feeling and
give them positive feeling. I do that everyday. This practice
helps tremendously in keeping the emotional level stable and
steady. So during the last few days, despite a lot of worries
and anxiety, there is no disturbance in my sleep. (Laughs).