Encouraged By Rising Support From Intellectuals in China: His Holiness the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama poses in Beverly Hills, California, on 20 February 2010.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama poses in Beverly Hills, California, on 20 February 2010.

Dharamshala: His Holiness arrived in Los Angeles on Friday and planned to spend the weekend here in support of Whole Child International, a nonprofit organization that works on behalf of orphaned and abandoned children.

In an interview with Los Angeles Times, His Holiness said “there had been no progress in the latest round of talks with China over his call for genuine autonomy in Tibet”.

Still, His Holiness said growing support from Chinese people could help in making progress. “The number of Chinese intellectuals and writers [coming] out, they openly support our middle way approach and [are] very critical of their own government policy,” His Holiness told LA Times.

His Holiness said “Chinese intellectuals had become more sympathetic to Tibet as a result of peaceful demonstrations in 2008 that prompted a swift, violent response from Chinese authorities. Since then, His Holiness said, he has met many Chinese who say they were unaware of the Tibetan issue until the demonstrations. Now, he said, they find his call for a self-governing Tibet that remains a part of China to be “very sensible, very logical.”

His Holiness said “Chinese writers had published 800 articles in support of Tibetan autonomy, 300 of them published in China itself”.

His Holiness briefly discussed his Thursday meeting with President Obama. His Holiness said he had met with the president because “it was my duty to inform or report what the situation was in the relationship with the Chinese government.”

Asked if he saw any progress there, His Holiness said, “No progress. . . . Always the Chinese authorities [are] very hardened. Not only [against] Tibetans, but also . . . toward their own people.”

His LA visit included a luncheon speech Saturday and a public address scheduled for Sunday at Gibson Amphitheatre, where he will be joined by musician Sheryl Crow.