New York: China’s new leadership should use “common sense” and seek truth from fact, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said in New York, as he expressed hope for some “indication of change” in approach during Xi Jinping’s presidency to bring about harmony and unity in the region. He gave a public talk on Sunday on the ‘Virtue of Non-violence’ and told a packed theatre of hundreds of followers that he would like to talk with the Chinese government “when the opportunity comes” and stressed that Tibetans are not seeking independence from China but “genuine autonomy”.
The public talk by the Tibetan leader capped two days of spiritual discourse which he gave to over 3,000 people in sessions hosted by Hollywood actor Richard Gere’s foundation. Stressing that Tibet’s autonomy would be mutually beneficial to Tibetans and the Chinese, the 78-year-old Dalai Lama said he is not seeking a separate Tibet but one which remains within China. “The middle way is in everybody’s interest,” he said, referring to his model of Tibetan autonomy which would be on the lines of a Hong Kong or Macau, which have been given political and economic autonomy.
“We want modernised Tibet. Give us meaningful autonomy so that we can carry preservation of Tibet’s culture, language and tradition… Preserving Tibet-Buddhist culture is also in the interest of Chinese Buddhists,” he said, adding that preservation of Tibetan ecology is in the interest of not only Tibetans but China, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. He added that Tibetans across the world, including in India and the US, have been demanding “complete independence” but do not know how to achieve it.
“We have to be realistic, seek truth from fact.” He said the regime of Jinping’s predecessor Hu Jintao focussed on a “good idea” of promoting harmonious society but use of censorship and force by the regime was a “wrong method” and only brought more fear in the hearts of people. “The new leadership (in China) should use common sense and seek truth from fact. Policy of the new leadership should be based on seeking truth from fact,” he said, adding that this will help in creating harmonious and united society.