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Dalai Lama on self-immolations and China's leadership: BBC interview PDF Print E-mail
[27 September 2012] In an interview with the BBC, the Dalai Lama has said the Chinese government needs to "deal with the causes and conditions" that have led to 51 self-immolations in Tibet. He also said the upcoming leadership change in China offers a "real chance for political reform".

The Dalai LamaThe Dalai Lama, interviewed in Delhi by BBC correspondent Andrew North, called on the Chinese Communist Party to change its approach to Tibet.

The Dalai Lama said, "The new leadership must use common sense and a more holistic view to serve long term-interest. There is no other way... Just using force, censorship and to remain a closed society is almost like suicide."

He added that the upcoming change in leadership offers a "real chance for political reform".

In response to questions regarding the self-immolations in Tibet the Dalai Lama stated that "in order to stop the symptom we have to deal with the causes and the conditions", adding that the Tibetan people did not create the causes and conditions.

Asked why solving the Tibet situation is important at a time when the world is economically dependent on China, the Dalai Lama responded that morals, democratic principle and truth are ultimately what people respect. He said that the Tibetan people are "stuck between the power of the gun and power of truth", but that "in the long run the power of truth is more (sic) stronger".

Click here to watch the BBC interview and read the BBC report. (Video - 4 minutes)

Related content:

25 September: Exiled government releases film examining self-immolations
The Tibetan government in exile has produced a documentary entitled The Burning Question: Why are Tibetans Turning to Self-immolation? The 30-minute film examines the underlying reasons for the wave of self-immolations that have taken place in Tibet since 2009... report & watch online

7 June: The Human Torches of Tibet: BBC documentary
A 24-minute documentary by the BBC, on the self-immolations and protests in Tibet and their impact on the Tibetan exiled community. First broadcast on BBC World and BBC News at the end of May 2012, it includes interviews with the Dalai Lama and the Kalon Tripa. Tibet Society's view on the documentary can be read on our blog... report I watch online I read blogpost

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