Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has expressed his concern over the violent protests that have been taking place in Hong Kong, stressing that peace is most important and that all problems should be resolved through dialogue.
The Dalai Lama talked with Taiwan’s Hakka TV in Himachal Pradesh, India, about the situation in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protests over the past three months have at times turned violent.
“When Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) created ‘one country, two systems,’ it was very practical, very good, but in recent weeks, a lot of disputes happened. I feel a little worried,” a Hakka Television statement quoted the Dalai Lama as saying.
“I think it’s best for every place to maintain peace. Peace is very important,” the Dalai Lama said. “We can resolve any problem through dialogue, rather than negative actions in response to anger, which are useless. These disturbances caused by the disputes are very serious. What I can do is limited. I can only pray for them.”
There have been violent clashes between protesters and police, with some demonstrators trashing the Hong Kong Legislative Council building, ransacking train stations and preventing normal operations at the Hong Kong International Airport.
Police have responded with increasing force: using water cannons, beating protesters with batons, firing rubber bullets or bean bag rounds at them, and using tear gas.
On Wednesday last week, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) formally withdrew the proposed extradition bill, which sparked the protests, but the announcement failed to appease some of the pro-democracy leaders, who vowed to continue demonstrating, including carrying out disruptive protests, until China allows free democratic elections in Hong Kong.
The Dalai Lama praised the democracy, freedoms and religious knowledge in Taiwan, saying that such assets are the answer to defeating totalitarianism.
“Taiwanese should not become demoralized, but should keep up their enthusiasm, and most importantly, maintain their non-violent, peaceful ways,” the statement quoted him as saying.
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, who resides in Dharamshala, India, talked vividly about his previous visits to Taiwan, saying that if there was an opportunity, he would be more than willing to return for another visit.
Hakka TV’s one-hour interview with the Dalai Lama is to be aired on the channel at 10pm tonight.
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