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article imageDalai Lama Calls on China to ‘Embrace Egalitarian Principles’

By Christopher Szabo     Jun 4, 2009 in World
Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, says China has a great opportunity to review the events in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, when Chinese miltary forces fired on demonstrators.
In a press release from the Tibet Office in Pretoria, the Dalai Lama called on China to embrace more open principles of government. In his statement, the Dalai Lama paid respects to:
Those who died expressing popular demand for the government to be more accountable to its people.
The exiled Tibetan leader praised China’s advances, but expressed a desire for a more accommodating attitude. He said:
Great changes have taken place in the People’s Republic of China since 1989. Today, it is a global economic power poised to become a superpower. It is my hope that the Chinese leaders have the courage and far-sightedness to embrace more truly egalitarian principles and pursue a policy of greater accommodation and tolerance of diverse views. A policy of openness and realism can lead to greater trust and harmony within China and enhance its international standing as a truly great nation.
Referring to those involved in protests in Beijing 20 years ago, the Dalai Lama added:
The students involved in the Tiananmen Square movement were neither anti-communist nor anti-socialist. The speaking out in defense of the Chinese people’s constitutional rights in favour of democracy, and taking a stand against corruption, truly conformed to the underlying beliefs of the Chinese Communist government. This was confidently stated by the then Party chief Zhao Ziyang.
Zhao, who sympathised with the students and other demonstrators, was ousted from his leadership of the Communist Party of China. He was placed under house arrest until his death in 2005.
Meanwhile Time magazine reports that a new book, Prisoner of the State, The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang, reveals that Zhao was drawn to democracy and eventually believed China should adopt a parliamentary system. The former premier recorded his thoughts on music tapes that were smuggled out of his house by other former Communist Party members.
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