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23 July, 2007

"The human rights situation in Tibet is still very serious" - The Dalai Lama

From the EUX.TV web site:

On Monday the Dalai Lama, visiting the German city of Hamburg for a series of lectures and talks with supporters of Tibetan Buddhism in Europe, criticized the actions of Chinese security forces in Tibet.

"The human rights situation in Tibet is still very serious," the Dalai Lama said, adding that there had been repeated incidents with Chinese guards at the border.

"Many who tried to escape were shot," the exiled spiritual and political leader told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, adding that Tibetan culture was being undermined by the Chinese.

"We notice that Tibetans who were born in India have more Tibetan qualities than Tibetans who were born in Tibet. The older generation were full of knowledge about Buddhism. They are almost gone," he said.

Asked if his popularity in western nations was a form of pressure on the Chinese government, he said, "My main motivation is not the Tibet issue. My concern is the promotion of human values ...

"When people ask me about Tibet, naturally I have to answer them.

"The Chinese are also showing more and more interest in Tibetan Buddhism. That is making their attitude on Tibet more positive," he added.

The Dalai Lama told the interviewers he disapproved of hunger strikes in protest at China by Tibetan students living in New Delhi.

"I can understand their frustration, because there has been no sign of improvements in Tibet," he said. "But from a Buddhist point of view I cannot approve. Suicide is also a form of violence."

Asked if it was possible he might be the last Dalai Lama, he said, "As I've often said, the institution of the Dalai Lama will remain in place as long as it is of use to the Tibetan people.

"If the majority of the Tibetan people decides that the institution is no longer necessary, then there will be no more Dalai Lama. When I soon die, I believe that a majority of the Tibetan people will want the institution to be continued.

"If the Tibetan situation develops positively in the next 20 to 30 years, then the majority of the people might decide that the Dalai Lama is no longer so important.

"I'm the 14th Dalai Lama. Not the best, but at the same time not the worst. Quite a popular Dalai Lama."

Read the article on the EUX.TV web site.
Related: The Dalai Lama begins Germany visit (
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