08/08/2008, 00.00
INDIA – TIBET – CINA

“We pray for the success of the Games” and for the dream of a better world

Nirmala Carvalho
The prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile gives an interview. He extends his best wishes to the people of China who have “every right to enjoy the grandeur of the Olympics”. He criticises the government of China but also the rule of economic interests and trade over rights and principles. He calls for a day of prayer and fasting on 30 August.
Dharamsala (AsiaNews) – “We pray for the success of the Games and send our [best] wishes to the people of China” even if “there is anguish in the heart of every Tibetan” and “many feel that with the international spotlight on China, this is the opportune moment to express their grief and frustration,” said Samdhong Rinpoche, Kalon Tripa (prime minister) of the Tibetan government-in-exile, to AsiaNews as he described how the Tibetans are going through as the Beijing Olympics begin.

“The Beijing Olympics are for the people of China, the ordinary people of China who have every right to enjoy the grandeur of the Olympics,” he said. “Our struggle is with the Chinese government and their repression.”

“World leaders should encourage every dictatorship, even China, to respect human rights, religious freedom, freedom of conscience and freedom of expression” for the good of the international community as a whole. “Regrettably in modern society markets and trade are more important than anything else; international relationships are built on commerce and not on values and ethics.”

The principle that “might is right has become the beacon of light” that has relegated the “common good and ethical guidelines” to the “periphery of global vision. Sadly, this so-called modern world is more primitive now than during the primitive ages.”

Samdhong Rinpoche likes the Olympic motto ‘One World, One Dream’. But for him if “there is One World,” there are “many Dreams, dreams where no person or nation imposes, oppresses or denies the other fundamental rights like freedom of conscience, human rights, religious freedom, which are the core guiding principles of our lives and interactions with each other, at a personal level and in the international community.”

Faced with the might of the Chinese army, Tibetans rely on ethics and justice.

“For 12 hours on August 30 there will be an ‘International Day of Mass Prayer and Fasting’ for all peoples, including China,” he said.

“It is a symbolic gesture, a few days after the Games, to oppose repression and affirm our commitment to non-violence and pursue the Tibetan cause with truth.”

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