By TENDAR TSERING
AAP contributing writer
Speaking to a group of Chinese and Tibetan students in Minnesota on Saturday, the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama urged the Chinese leaders to think widely while hailing Mao Zedong as a great revolutionary.
“I know Mao very well,” the Dalai Lama said. “He was a great revolutionary. He trusted me a lot. He even told me that religion is opium.”
His Holiness laughed while adding that the Chinese revolutionary leader later got himself corrupted by his own power.
The Tibetan spiritual leader also applauded the Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping which he said is “being very courageous” in tackling corruption in the communist country.
During the one hour talk, the Dalai Lama reaffirmed that Tibetans are willing to be under the Chinese government, and asking for a genuine autonomy, not for independence.
“We very much admire Chinese people, long history, cultured people, hard working. Whereever they go, they settle China town,” said the Dalai Lama.
“Even during seventh century, the Tibetan king admired Han people very much, so he even took a queen from China,” laughed the Tibetan spiritual leader.
The Dalai Lama urged the Chinese leaders to think widely and make significant contribution to the world.
“Everybody loves Chinese food, isn’t it? So similarly, everybody should be able to have a pleasant feeling of China, not fear” said the Dalai Lama urging the Beijing government should uplift the censorship and hardline policies.
After speaking on a wide range of topics including censorship and totalitarinism, the Dalai Lama took a chain of questions from the Chinese students.
Being asked, the Dalai Lama told the students that he had already expressed his doubt if the ongoing Tibetan selfimmolations would bring any good result.
“Firstly, I am very said and secondly, I doubt such dramatic actions will be helpful or not,” said the Dalai Lama.
“I repeated this again in Japan when I met with a group of international reporters,” said the Dalai Lama “ This is very very sensitive political question. I am already retired. Whatever I say (Chinese) hardliners always manupulate, so, I better remain silent.”
The Tibetan spiritual leader who is currently on a three-week visit urged the Chinese students to learn more about the realities.
“Don’t believe what the governmnet says. You have two eyes, two ears. So you must use you both eyes and ears,” added the Dalai Lama.
Before speaking to the group of students, the Tibetan spiritual leader presided over the 26th annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum anniversary orgnized by Nobel Peace Prize Forum and Augsburg college in the state.
The following day, the Dalai Lama who is also a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate will bless the Tibetans here in the state to celebrate the Tibetan new year.