Growing support from Chinese intellectuals and officials for Tibetan cause encouraging, says His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama adjusts his robe at the beginning of a ceremony in the ice stadium of Lausanne, western Switzerland, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is on a five day visit to Switzerland. (AP Photo/Keystone, Dominic Favre)
Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama adjusts his robe at the beginning of a ceremony in the ice stadium of Lausanne, western Switzerland, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is on a five day visit to Switzerland. (AP Photo/Keystone, Dominic Favre)

Dharamshala: His Holiness the Dalai Lama said Tuesday that an estimated 4,000 people who were imprisoned during the peaceful protests in Tibet last year remain in custody, and he called for an international probe into the violent crackdown by the Chinese government.

His Holiness said he remains encouraged by the growing solidarity and support Chinese people and intellectuals are showing for the Tibetan cause.

“I’m appealing to the international community go there and thoroughly investigate,” His Holiness said at a press conference in a hockey arena in Lausanne, where he was giving two days of public teachings on Buddhism to up to 6,500 spectators.

The Chinese government should refrain from using force in dealing with Tibetans, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said. His Holiness also expressed dismay that Tibetans were prohibited from using their own language.

But His Holiness said there is increasing awareness in China about the discrimination Tibetans are suffering and the region’s need for autonomy. Even Chinese government officials were breaking from Beijing’s hardline position, His Holiness said.

“Many Chinese are showing solidarity with us,” His Holiness said, adding “Among the Chinese officials, also a number of officials (are) privately showing their concern, their solidarity.”

Regarding Tibet’s quest for autonomy, he said “from a wider perspective, things are very hopeful”.

Asked about the Swiss government’s position not to meet His Holiness during this visit, he said that there’s no problem because the purpose of the visit is religious and in some extent educational. He further stated that he does not want to create any inconvenience to the Swiss government.

After the teaching His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed the Tibetan community of Switzerland and Liechtenstein. More than 4’000 Tibetans attended the audience. His Holiness talked about the importance of modern education as well as about ethical behaviours. After the one hour talk, Kalon Tripa, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche addressed the gathering followed by a question and answer session.

(Sources: AP, Swissinfo.ch and The Tibet Bureau in Geneva)