Los Angeles: In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Larry King on Sunday, His Holiness the Dalai Lama underscored that his “Middle Way Approach for seeking a mutually beneficial solution to the issue of Tibet within the framework of the People’s Republic of China is in the best interests of China”.
His Holiness started his second day in Los Angeles with a forty-five minute interview with Larry King on popular talk show – Larry King Live. King started off by asking about His Holiness’ meeting with President Obama and asked what His Holiness wanted from Obama. His Holiness answered that he stated his three main commitments: promotion of human values, promotion of religious harmony and the Tibetan issue.
His Holiness said he had “requested President Obama to urge the Chinese government for dialogue and contact with the Tibetans, and requested help, such as scholarships, for Tibetans in refugee communities as well as Tibetans in Tibet”.
Larry King asked His Holiness if America could maintain good relations with China while at the same time supporting Tibetan independence. His Holiness answered that “there was no contradiction in keeping good relations with China and supporting Tibet because they were not seeking independence but a genuine autonomy. Our concern is basic rights for the six million Tibetans inside Tibet”.
“Every Tibetan wants a modernised Tibet and to remain part of China can ensure this,” His Holiness added. His Holiness called his approach the Middle Way Approach and stressed, “Our approach is in the best interest of China”.
Highlight of Day’s Other Programmes
Earlier at 8:45 am His Holiness met with board members and staff of the Whole Child International. His Holiness held a brief informal question and answer session with sponsors of Whole Child International. There were around sixteen people including Cher and Chris Rock. They asked His Holiness’ opinions on topics ranging from leadership ethics to childcare to cultivation of inner peace. In his answers, His Holiness stressed that not just money but values such as freedom and free information were very important. His Holiness said: “In order to utilise human creativity properly, you need free information without censorship or restriction.”
Later in the afternoon His Holiness gave a public talk to almost 6,000 people on ‘Cultivating Compassion and Needs of Vulnerable Children’ at Gibson Amphitheater, Universal City.
The talk was organised by Whole Child International, and focused on cultivating compassion and inner peace. Renowned singer Sheryl Crow sang three songs.
In his address, His Holiness said the 20th century was a crucial century for human history. In the 20th century, people created wonderful technology and human society became very advanced in some ways but on the other hand, over 200 million people were killed in this century. “In ancient times,” His Holiness said, “destruction of your enemy meant victory for yourself.” Now it’s different; the destruction of your enemy is the destruction of yourself. His Holiness stated that therefore disarmament was very important. He made a distinction between two types of disarmament: external and internal. His Holiness said, “Without internal disarmament, change is not lasting. Therefore, cultivate compassion.”
His Holiness particularly emphasised the “role of education in developing compassion so that intellectual development is concurrent with moral development”. His Holiness urged that children should be taught the value of compassion when they are small. His Holiness said that Tibetan parents teach their children not to kill insects and the children grow up to value all life. If children do not value insect life, that can be a slippery slope to devaluing all life. His Holiness also pointed out that compassion reduces blood pressure, tension and stress, and induces sound sleep and good digestion. His Holiness said, “The real healing power is compassion.”
During the question and answer session, His Holiness was asked how parents should teach privileged children to understand how lucky they are. His Holiness remarked that there is a question of how to introduce the value of compassion in a modern education system, and a pressing need to teach values in a secular way to children from kindergarten to university.
His Holiness was also asked if he planned on going back to Tibet. His Holiness said there was “always a desire to return,” but the Chinese leadership, which slanders him and calls him an enemy, would have a hard time justifying to its citizens why His Holiness was let inside the country. So His Holiness said he was trying to improve his relationship with the Chinese government. He reiterated that the issue of Tibet is not a Dalai Lama issue, but the issue of the Tibetan people.
Tomorrow His Holiness travels to Florida where he will give two public talks.
–Reporting by Tenzin Dickyi, Office of Tibet, New York. Editing by Lobsang Choedak