I support China on holding of Olympics: Dalai Lama

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Dharamshala, Apr 6: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama today urged the Tibetans not to cause any hindrance to the Olympics being staged in China as it is matter of great pride to the 1.2 billion people of that country. ''I have from the very beginning supported the holding of these Games in Beijing. My position on this remains unchanged. I feel the Tibetans should not cause any hindrance to the Games,'' he said in a statement here. The Dalai Lama said though it was the legitimate right of every Tibetan to struggle for their freedoms and rights, but it would be futile and not helpful to anyone if the Tibetans created hatred in the minds of the Chinese people.

''On the contrary, we need to foster trust and respect in our hearts in order to create a harmonious society, as this cannot be built on the basis of force and intimidation,'' he added. The Tibetan spiritual leader said their struggle was with a few leaders of the People's Republic of China and not with the Chinese people. ''We should never cause misunderstanding or do something that will hurt the Chinese people. Even during this difficult situation, many Chinese intellectuals, writers and lawyers in that country and other parts of the world have sympathized and shown us their solidarity by issuing statements, writing articles and offering pledges of support that is overwhelming.'' Denying his role in the violent protests in Tibet, he said he had time and again made repeated appeals for an independent and respected international body to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.

The Dalai Lama said was sure this independent body would uncover the truth. If the Chinese Government has any basis and proof of evidence to back their allegations, they need to disclose these to the world. Just making allegations was not enough.

The Tibetan spiritual leader said though the recent protests have contradicted the Chinese propaganda about people enjoying a prosperous and contended life, he said and added they have also conveyed to the world that the Tibet issue can no longer be neglected. ''The recent protests all over Tibet have not only contradicted but also shattered China propaganda that except for a few '' reactionaries'', the majority of Tibetans enjoy a prosperous and contented life,'' he added.

The Dalai Lama said the protests prove that the Tibetans in the three provinces of Tibet, U-tsang, Kham and Amdo, harbour the same aspirations and hopes.

''These protests highlight the need to find a way to resolve the issue through ''finding truth from facts''. The courage and determination of those Tibetans who have demonstrated their deep anguish and hopes by risking everything is very commendable as the world community has acknowledged and supported the spirit of these Tibetans.'' Referring to his middle path approach to find a lasting solution to the Tibet problem, he said since 1974, he had remained steadfast to this mutually this approach, which seeks that all Tibetans should be governed by similar administration that enjoyed meaningful National Regional Autonomy and all the provisions in it, self-rule and full decision-making, except for matters concerning foreign relations and national defense.

Urging the Tibetans to keep away from violence, he said they have the right to make the final decision for the future of Tibet.

''I know you are being provoked at every level but it is important to stick to our non-violent practice. We should not engage in any action that could be even remotely interpreted as violent,'' the Tibetan Spiritual leader added.

UNI

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