Mon, Oct 10, 2011 - Page 4 News List

Dalai Lama tells South Africans that China built on lies

Reuters and AP, CAPE TOWN and JOHANNESBURG

China is built on lies and its officials are hypocrites, the Dalai Lama said on Saturday, speaking via videophone after visa problems prevented him from joining Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 80th birthday celebrations in South Africa.

“Some Chinese officials describe me as a demon,” the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said to loud applause as he put his index fingers either side of his head to mimic devil’s horns.

“In reality, for the communist totalitarian system ... hypocrisy [and] telling lies has unfortunately become part of their lives,” he said.

He said Chinese government officials and those in other totalitarian systems were “uncomfortable” with people who tell the truth, adding that honest people live longer.

He added that the Chinese people should be able to hear his views and judge for themselves.

“Censorship is immoral,” he said.

The Dalai Lama also said that he would like to attend Tutu’s 90th birthday.

“At that time, don’t forget to send me an invitation ... then we can test your government,” he said to Tutu in an apparent reference to his visa debacle with South African authorities.

The government’s failure to allow the Dalai Lama into the country has been seen as bowing to pressure from China, which pledged to invest US$2.5 billion in the country last week.

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