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article imageDalai Lama optimistic he will return to Tibet Special

By Christopher Szabo     Sep 21, 2010 in World
Pretoria - The Dalai Lama says he is optimistic he will return to Tibet, albeit on a Chinese passport. Addressing the Hungarian Parliament, he expressed admiration for Hungary’s freedom fight in 1956.
He said he had been warned by Chinese “friends” at the time that if the Tibetans “didn’t behave well,” they might end up the same way, according to the MTI news agency. The Hungarian Uprising was crushed by Soviet tanks.
Speaking to the Dalai Lama’s representative, Digital Journal asked how the Tibetan leader could return to China. Spokesman for the Tibet Office in Pretoria, Sonam Tenzing, explained:
His Holiness has made this remark in the Hungarian Parliament
To put this into perspective, he has said he is an optimist, and he said he will return to Tibet even if with a Chinese passport, he also at the same time stated that the Chinese leaders must start sooner or later some sort of political liberalization. In other words, a solution has to be found for both the Chinese and Tibetan people. An environment has to be created, a solution has to be found, once such a situation happens, he will be able to return to his country, even if that means holding a Chinese passport, but before that will happen, but the climate has to be changed in Tibet.
The Dalai Lama had referred in Hungary, where he had been given the Freedom of the City of Budapest, to “signs of openness” in China. I asked Tenzing what these were:
Number One: When he is talking about openness in China, there are whether one agrees or not, one (group) that is moderate, the other is hard-line. The moderates do believe it is time to engage with His Holiness and his representatives. The hardliners do not.
Number Two: There are a growing number of Chinese intellectuals who feel that dialogue is the only solution to the Tibetan problem. When he makes a reference to openness, he is referring to these.
He added that there was growing support in China itself for the Dalai Lama’s approach:
Many Chinese intellectuals are supportive of what he has been saying for the past many decades. The Middle Way approach, genuine autonomy, mutual benefit, these have been very much appreciated and found in the writing of these scholars.
I asked what answer could be given to the hardliners views, who presumably hope the Chinese Han people would eventually absorb the Tibetans. Tenzing answered:
The hardliners think there is disenchantment among the Tibetan people, that they need more economic development. If they get more economic opportunities, they think then Tibetans will be happy with it. But their calculation is wrong.
He mentioned a factor that would weaken this position over the long term:
But what we do see is increasing no of Chinese citizens slowly but surely taking interest in the Tibetan issue, seeing with their own eyes and making their own judgment. And there are an increasing no of Chinese citizens who want to see the Tibet issue through dialogue.
More about Dalai, Lama, Hungary, Return, Tibet
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