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Shun censorship, distorted propaganda: Dalai Lama tells China

November 20, 2009 22:53 IST

Observing that the 1.3 billion people of China have the 'right to know the reality', Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Friday advised the Communist regime there to shun 'censorship and distorted propaganda'.

He also said that he had always advocated a greater role for India in Asia and the world as it is the largest democracy on the planet.

The Nobel peace prize winner said transparency and openness were important ingredients for achieving a harmonious society and observed that the 1.3 billion people of China "have the right to know the reality".

"The Communist party has no right to keep them away from reality," he said while replying to a question after delivering the annual Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial lecture in New Delhi.

"To achieve a harmonious society, which is Chinese President Hu Jintao's emphasis, the development of trust is important, so is transparency and openness. Censorship and distorted propaganda will work in the opposite direction," he said.

Asked to comment on the recent US-China joint statement stressing a greater role for Beijing in South Asia, the Dalai Lama said, "Whenever I visit Washington, I tell them, whenever you think about Asia, you must remember India too".

"Given the size of its population, it (India) is the greatest democratic country in the world. Drawbacks may be there but it is basically very democratic," he said.

The Tibetan spiritual leader said it was China which has "revitalised me as a politician".

Stability, unity and harmony cannot be achieved by using force, the Dalai Lama said. "The methods should be realistic, you cannot achieve unity, stability and harmony by using force; intensifying spying also brings fear in people."

He said, "For a long time, we have had relations with China and its people, and we admire them as very hard-working and civilized, but the system in the country today is unpredictable".

The monk replied in the affirmative when asked if a woman could ever be a Dalai Lama.

"I am not too concerned about the institution of Dalai Lama, if the people feel it is no longer important, it will cease to exist, and the succession could also be done in different ways," he added.

He said his years as a refugee in India had helped him develop a realistic approach to the world.

"I would have been more like a monk if I was not here as a refugee. I became a refugee and therefore more close to reality, and I really enjoyed the freedom in India," he said.

The Dalai Lama also asked Indians to revive their historical tradition of spirituality and non-violence. "You should revive these traditional values in the modern India," he said.

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