Dalai Lama Calls for Democracy to Flower in China

November 12th 2006

Tokyo, Japan, 12 Nov 2006 (Kyodo News)
The Dalai Lama and an opposition lawmaker agreed Saturday in a meeting in Tokyo that China needs to become a democratic country, the politician said.
The spiritual leader of the Tibetan government in exile met with Yukio Edano, a House of Representatives member from the Democratic Party of Japan. Edano heads a nonpartisan group of lawmakers who share concerns about Tibet.  
The Dalai Lama, who is seeking greater autonomy for the Himalayan Buddhist region within China, said during the meeting that countries surrounding China cannot predict what moves 'the big dragon' will make due to the lack of democracy.
If China were a democracy, neighboring countries would feel more secure, he said.
Edano agreed with the Dalai Lama, saying China needs to be democratized.
'When the Dalai Lama returns to Tibet and Tibet establishes its autonomy based on the religion the people believe, China establishes democracy,' he said.
The Dalai Lama arrived in Japan on Oct. 30 for a two-week visit through Sunday at the invitation of a religious group in Hiroshima Prefecture.  
During his stay, the Nobel laureate attended a peace conference in Hiroshima.  
China, which rules Tibet, has opposed visits to Japan by the Dalai Lama, claiming he is leading a secessionist movement.
The government has allowed him to enter the country on condition he does not engage in political activities.
China has criticized the Dalai Lama and opposed his visit to Japan.
The Dalai Lama has lived in Dharamasala, India, since a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. China occupied Tibet in 1951.

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