Dalai Lama says he feels helpless, prays for Tibetans, Chinese

Other News Materials 6 April 2008 12:54 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said Sunday he felt "helpless" in face of the current incidents in Tibet and said they had conveyed to the world that the Tibet issue could no longer be neglected.

After leading a prayer meeting in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala, he read a statement requesting Tibetans living outside Tibet to be "extra vigilant" as they voiced their feelings and urged them to follow the path of non-violence.

"I know you are being provoked at every level but it is important to stick to our non-violent practice," he said. "We must be wise to understand where the unprecedented affection and support for our cause stems from.

"I pray for all the Tibetans as well as Chinese who have lost their lives during the current crisis," he said, adding that the Tibetan people's struggle was not with the Chinese people but a few among the Chinese leadership.

"If the present situation continues, I am very much concerned that the Chinese government will unleash more force and increase the suppression of the Tibetan people," he said.

The Tibetan leader, who lives in exile in India along with thousands of Tibetan refugees, said he believed the solution to the Tibetan crisis lay in the "middle-way approach" - which he said meant regional autonomy with provisions of self-rule in all matters except foreign relations and national defense.

"However,I have said from the beginning that the Tibetans in Tibet have the right to make the final decision for the future of Tibet," he said.

The Dalai Lama said he supported the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and urged Tibetans to not disrupt the event, as it would be futile and could create hatred in the minds of Chinese people.

The Tibetan government-in-exile, also based in Dharamsala, declared Sunday as a world prayer day and Tibetan groups in all cities in India with sizeable Tibetan populations held services.