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His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Meeting with the press at Narita in Japan

(2008/4/10 Hilton Hotel, Narita )

H.H. the Dalai Lama: I have nothing to say. I have just stopped here. After this I will visit US for 2 weeks. As usual let me explain that I have 3 commitments in my life. First, promotion of human value as a human being, this value means a compassionate heart. Even if you are a religious believer or nonbeliever, as long as you have a body, more compassionate mind helps us, and the physical elements becomes harmonious. If you have more compassionate mind, then your physical condition will be better. About this field some medical scientists are carrying some research and it is evidently made clear. The mental peace is very helpful for physical health. So my first commitment is promoting the human value using common sense, common experience and scientific findings. The second commitment is; I am a Buddhist monk, so I try to promote harmony among various traditions. Main purpose of my visit to US for 2 weeks is related to these two commitments.

So essentially my coming here is not for a political purpose, I just stopped here on the way to US, and actually there is nothing to say. But a large number of you(reporters)came here, out of curiosity or concern, I don't know. So now it's up to you, I will answer your questions.

Q1. There is a big confusion on Olympic all over the world. Please comment on this.

H.H. the Dalai Lama: Right from the beginning, I supported the China Olympic because China is most populated and ancient nation. So the Chinese people deserve to hold the Olympic. In spite of the recent unfortunate event in Tibet, my position has not changed on this. In fact after some troubles in London and Paris I sent a message to Tibetans in San Francisco area, "Please don't make any violent activity but feeling is up to you." Nobody has a right to say "Shut up". It is an individual right, isn't it? Actually the main source of current crisis in Tibet is that there is no freedom of speech.

Among Tibetans, some young people criticize me. I welcome it and they can criticize because they have right to criticize and I don't have any right to stop it. Meanwhile it should be through nonviolent way. This I have already explained.

The day before yesterday I sent such message to Tibetans in San Francisco. But I don't know what really happened yesterday. Last night I left Delhi and slept in the airplane so I don`t know what happened in San Francisco.

Q2. This happening is unbelievable. Please comment, do you have any appeal to the Chinese people. (Question from a Chinese media)

H.H. the Dalai Lama: Ni hao! Immediately after the crisis in Tibet, Chinese propaganda and some people created an impression that we are anti Chinese. Therefore, I made an appeal to the Chinese brothers and sisters all over the world. You already received a copy. I simply repeat here. We are not anti Chinese, and also we are determined to remain within China so that as far as the economical development is concerned we get a great advantage. Meantime we have a unique cultural inheritance including language and a rich Buddhist Nalanda tradition. Everybody knows Tibetan Buddhism is a pure tradition of Nalanda tradition. Therefore preservation of Tibetan culture, Tibetan Buddhism including Tibetan language, this is not only in the interest of 6 million Tibetans but also for a large number of people in central Asia and the rest of the world. Therefore in order to preserve Tibetan cultural heritage, Buddhism and so on Tibet must have a real meaningful autonomy. That means, beside defense, diplomacy and maybe some others. In those areas where Tibetans are better, Tibet should have a full authority. Tibetan can do better in preservation of the Tibetan culture, Buddhism, education, environment and all these things.

This I usually call it `the middle way`. Chinese authorities have little idea about the Tibetan culture. And unfortunately some Chinese leaders consider Tibetan Buddhism is a source of the separation. So they put a lot of restrictions. According to this reality, autonomy is only on a paper. All the Tibetan territories are put under different autonomy. It is called autonomy region, autonomy district, autonomy prefecture, autonomy county etc. If there is real autonomy, then the people from those areas should be satisfied. There is no reason that the crisis should happen. Why? Autonomy is just a name; it is not sincerely implemented. Therefore, Tibetans from these different autonomous areas bear great resentment and this crisis is an expression of this deep resentment. That is why we are seeking a genuine autonomy.

Another point is about the Olympic. Right from the beginning as I mentioned I support it. This is my main message to Chinese brothers and sisters all over China and all over the world particularly Chinese people in China. I really feel very sad. At government level, they almost demonize me. I am just a human being, hopefully not a demon. Whether I am a demon or not, you can judge. I don't have those of this kind (showing horns on the head with laugh). It does not matter what they say. But I really feel very sad. Many Chinese people in China rely on the information what government says. Those innocent Chinese brothers and sisters really feel that the Dalai Lama is so bad. Very sad. Please help me. Make it clear to all over the world particularly China that Dalai Lama is not seeking the independence. And if you can say - that the Dalai Lama is not that bad ...(big laugh).

Also I want to add one thing. Some Chinese officials stated that this crisis must be master minded by Dalai Lama. This is a serious thing. I immediately appealed to the international community and the Chinese government "Please carry out a thorough investigation including Dhalamsara. Please come to check and investigate thoroughly."

As far as we know at least a few hundred people in different part of Tibetan areas were killed after March 10 and at least a few thousand were arrested. So a thorough investigation should be done by some neutral, respected and independent organization. I think there are two kinds of people involved. Maybe some people looted shops and committed criminal activities. So you should make a distinction. Those criminal people who take this opportunity, they must be punished according to law. But some have a political motivation and do a non-violent demonstration. They should not be called criminals. Like this it is very important to make clear distinction. This should be thoroughly investigated by some respected lawyers. If you agree then I want to share this with you. If you don't agree, then forget this.

Q3. In Europe solidarity is not enough recently. There is a discrepancy between different opinions to the Tibetan problem in England, French, Germany and so on. Do you have something to say to Europeans? from RTL, French radio)

H.H. the Dalai Lama : I think Europeans fully enjoy individual freedom. So different opinions or views are their right. Basically I very much appreciate the spirit of European Union, their thinking, interest and concern to a common benefit. It is wonderful and realistic approach. This is what I want to say. As far as their opinion is concerned, it is up to them because they have their right. Many European Union of state, as you mentioned, Germany, France and British showed a really genuine concern about recent event. I appreciate it.

Q4. China states that everything will be stable if Dalai Lama is not there. Do you see this as some risk or threat? And Japanese government and politicians hesitate to speak to China. Do you have some message to Japanese government and Japanese people?

H.H. the Dalai Lama : I already appealed soon after March 10 to many governments, leaders including Russian prime minister and Japanese prime minister and many others. Many of the friends really showed concern and expressed the same to China.

Now I want to share with you. If possible, go to Tibet, investigate and make it known to the outside world as well as to the Chinese people in China what is really happening. Unfortunately some of the official explanations by China government are sometimes very distorted that it creates unnecessary misunderstandings.

Q5. You did not say about Italy but Italians respect you from their heart. A few weeks ago, in Dharamsala, You spoke that you will accept an invitation from China. If a miracle happens, will you accept an invitation to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic?

H.H. the Dalai Lama : It depends on the development on the spots. If Chinese government starts to think realistically to address the Tibetan issue then I want to attend and enjoy the big ceremony.

Q6.After the Olympic, China may become more powerful. Then can you have something like hope? Do you have something to say to Japanese prime minister?

H.H. the Dalai Lama : No, not particularly. I will study the situation.
First, I feel, because of this clear signal, clear expression of Tibetan people at this area. And also at the same time other autonomy regions, Shinxiang Uighur and so on, also some people express their resentment. Hopefully for Chinese government, now the time has come to accept the reality and try to find a solution according to the reality. Violent suppression of people`s uprising is an outdated method.

Second, in order to carry out a realistic approach you should know the reality. So free information and transparency are very essential. Now this is 21 century. Everything should be very clear and transparent. Everybody thinks that the so-called state secret is outdated and this kind of thing is most suspicious. Suspicion or doubt is a great obstacle to a harmonious society. Harmonious society must be built first. It must respect equality, clear information and transparency. These are basis of development of a harmonious society. Also in order to develop a good image of Chinese people, and in order to become a super power, moral authority is very essential. Also a transparent and a realistic approach is very essential. It is not only for Tibetan or Shinxiang Uighur but also for thousand of Chinese people's interest. China is the most populated nation and logically a great potential to make a positive contribution to a better world. In order to do it, a moral authority is very essential.

These are my view, and you media people specially have very important role to in play the society.

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