New York, NY, 22 May 2010 - English Translation (from the Tibetan) of Wang Lixiong’s interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Wang Lixiong’s Twitter postings (in Chinese) were based on this interview.
Question: Your Holiness Dalai Lama, how are you? I want to ask you about the religious leadership of
Then, since 2001, if we look at the exile leadership, a system has been established to elect (in a five-year term) the leadership of the Central Tibetan Administration and this is being practiced now.
Therefore, I do not place much importance on the issue of the Dalai Lama. I will do whatever I can while I am alive. I do not have any other consideration or responsibility.
It looks like the Chinese Communist Party seems to be more concerned about the institution of the Dalai Lama than I. Thus, the situation could become like that of the two Panchen Lamas. It will be an additional problem without any benefit.
Question: What is your view of the 11th Panchen Lama that the Chinese government has appointed?
His Holiness: From what I have heard he has sharp intellect and is greatly interested in religious matters. But many people have much suspicion about him. Therefore, it depends on him. It should be good if he turns out to be someone who embodies both the knowledge of the scripture and the realization based on it, and upholds the teaching and practice of the Buddha’s doctrine.
Question: I would like to ask Your Holiness about the meetings between the Tibetan government in exile and the Chinese Communists. Why are these meetings always fruitless? What exactly are the questions that have been so intractable over the decades?
His Holiness: The Chinese Government has been officially saying that there is no Tibetan issue to be discussed and that it is only the personal issue of the Dalai Lama. I do not have anything to ask for myself. It is the issue of the basic rights of the six million Tibetans, their religion, culture, and environment. These are issues that I am concerned about and need to be discussed. If and when the time comes when the Central Government acknowledges that there is a Tibetan problem, as they seem to be doing so in the case of Xinjiang, and make an effort to resolve it there is something to discuss. From my side, I will cooperate as I share the same objectives as the Chinese Government, namely the development of the country, stability, friendship. However, in terms of method, the Chinese Government seems to be adopting an approach of force to establish stability while we feel that stability should come from mental satisfaction and trust.
Question: Hello, your Holiness. Regardless of what political path
His Holiness: The Chinese-Tibetan relationship did not begin in 1949-50 but is over one thousand years old. During this period sometimes we had very cordial relationship while at other times not too cordial relationship. Currently we are in a period where we do not have cordial relationship. The cause for this is governmental policies that have caused the differences and not the people. Therefore, the people-to-people relationship is becoming important.
In free countries where there are Tibetans and Chinese, we have been making efforts to establish friendship associations between the two communities and these have been having impact. One main problem is that Deng Xiaoping’s Seeking Truth from Facts is not being implemented. Hu Yaobang had made efforts to understand the real situation. Recently, Wen Jiabao has talked about Hu Yaobang’s work attitude of not relying merely on official report but understanding the situation through contact with the people. There are many drawbacks in
Question: Another issue. Do you have any way of maintaining good relations between
Hans and Tibetans?
His Holiness: I travel to many countries and have always been adopting the attitude that we are all same human beings. This has enabled me to have good relationship. The Tibetans and Chinese are not only same as human beings, but also have historical relationship. If we are clear and establish equal relationship, all problems will be resolved.
I have been meeting regularly with people who come from mainland
Whenever I meet people, I tell them that we are the same human beings. The difference in religion, culture and languages are secondary. The most important thing is we are all same human beings.
In 1954-55, when I was in
Question: “I would like to ask your Holiness about your “Memorandum on Achieving True Autonomy for All Tibetans,” in which you do not write about how to protect the rights of Han people who live in
His Holiness: Even in the past, before 1950, there were Chinese in
Secondly, in the case of
Question: I would like to ask the Great Teacher why your description of
His Holiness: It is true that the
In the past there were films made about Tibetan history (by the Chinese). Some people told me that when these films were being shot, onlookers were laughing because these were not conforming to facts. They said a very strange film was being shot.
During the Cultural Revolution it was being said that the Revolution was a great success. Subsequently, when they could not cover the reality the position changed.
Similarly, the Tiananmen issue is known all over the world but the Chinese Government seems to maintain that it virtually did not happen by saying it was just a few (people). What is important is that you all should undertake scientifically sound objective investigations.
I always even tell the Tibetans that they should not base (their decision) merely because I have said it, but that they should investigate. From a Buddhist practitioner’s perspective, we need to investigate even the Buddha’s teachings.
Question: If the Chinese Government were to allow you to return to
His Holiness: That needs to be decided by majority preference by Tibetans in
Question: I would like to ask the Dalai Lama a sharp question. The fiercest criticism that Chinese government officials level against you is that you demand there be no troops in
His Holiness: I have always been making it clear that under the autonomy Foreign Relations and Defence will be undertaken by the Central Government. In the past, I had expressed my dream of making
Question: In view of how things stand at present, the chances of a peaceful resolution of the problem of
His Holiness: I divide the period since the establishment of the People’s Republic of
Some Party members who have worked in