Transparency first step for democracy in China: Dalai Lama


Dharamsala : Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said that transparent governance and freedom of press are stepping stones for China to embrace democracy, according to a statement issued here Monday.

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The 75-year-old Nobel laureate reiterated his position on seeking autonomy within China while addressing a gathering of Chinese youths in Melbourne Sunday.

“We should resolve the issue (of Tibet) through friendship and mutual cooperation,” the Dalai Lama said, according to a post on the official website of the Tibetan government-in-exile here.

He said he was proud to show the Chinese government what he had done in achieving a genuine Tibetan democracy. “It’s now the Chinese Communist Party’s turn to retire after being in power for 60 years.”

The spiritual leader said he did not expect that China would change into a democratic country overnight. “China is a big country and is not used to democracy. It’s good to go on that path gradually,” he said.

Refuting any speculation over his devolution of political power, the Dalai Lama clarified that he has not given up the cause of Tibet. “I have taken my decision in the long-term interest of the Tibetan people,” he said.

In a historic deviation from the 350-year-old Tibetan tradition, the Dalai Lama last month devolved his “formal authority” to the elected leadership of the Tibetan exiles.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet along with many of his supporters and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.

He then headed a Tibetan government-in-exile which, however, has not been recognised by any country.

India is home to around 100,000 Tibetans.