Rochester, Minnesota, USA, 22 April, 2012 - This morning His Holiness
left the city of Long Beach for Rochester, Minnesota. Gaden Shartse
Abbot Jamyang Choeden, Geshe Lobsang Tsultrim, Managing Director, and
staff of Gaden Shartse Thubten Dhargye Ling saw him off at the airport.
On his arrival in Rochester, several hundred members of the Tibetan community (Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota) had gathered to welcome him. His Holiness went around greeting them and advised them to remain at ease. His Holiness was received by officials and doctors of Mayo Clinic and thereafter went to address a gathering of more than a 100 Chinese students and scholars studying in in Minnesota, including from St. Olaf College; University of Minnesota; Macalester College; Carleton College; Normandale College; Mayo High School; Winona State University; and Southwest High School.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses a gathering of Chinese scholars and students in Rochester, Minnesota, on April 22, 2012. Photo/Shenphen Sangpo|
He said throughout the world things are changing
referring to how the European Union has evolved. In the Tibetan case,
the Tibetans have a distinct identity, in cluding our own language and
written script, which is closer to the Indian Devnagri script, he said.
We must, however, think of the reality, he said.
His Holiness said it is in the Tibetan people’s own interest to remain within the People’s Republic of China. However, there should be meaningful autonomy, he said.
His Holiness said the 17 Point Agreement that Tibet had signed with China was in the spirit of one country, two systems. He talked about his visit to China in 1954-55 and his meetings with Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi (who he called as his immediate boss), Zhou Enlai. Etc. His Holiness said he had much interest in Marxism and had expressed his desired to the Chinese Communist Party, but was asked to wait. He added that although he considers himself a Marxist, he is not a Leninist. He talked about Mao’s interest in Tibet and how he even asked His Holiness to be in direct touch with him. Subsequently, in 1956, when His Holiness was in India Zhou Enlai and He Long had come on a visit there to meet with Indian officials and also with him. He said that Zhao had a message from Chairman Mao saying that the controversial reforms campaign in Tibet would be postponed for six years, and if needed would be postponed further. Zhao also told His Holiness as well as the Indian government officials that the Tibetan case is something unique. Gradually, however, Chairman Mao’s own thinking went extreme leftist and the result was the Cultural Revolution.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama is welcomed by well-wishers on his arrival in Rochester, Minnesota, on April 22, 2012. Photo/ShenphenSangpo|