DHARAMSALA, Sep 16: Lauding the spirit of the European Union for promoting the collective interest of all the sovereign states under the union, the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Sep 15 expressed that Tibetans will happily remain within the People’s Republic of China, provided that China guarantees genuine autonomy to the Tibetan people.
“We [are] very much impressed [with] the spirit of European union. Independent sort of sovereign state [is] important but [its] not so important. But common interest [is] more important,” His Holiness stated in his address at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
“We are not not seeking independence. History is history. So, we [will] also happily join or remain within the People’s Republic of China provided they must respect our unique culture, including language and rich Buddhist philosophy,” the octogenarian Tibetan Nobel Peace laureate added.
Calling it his duty, the Tibetan leader, on behalf of six million Tibetans, also expressed his gratitude to the European Union for its continued support on the issue of Tibet.
“It is my duty to thank our friend, the European Union. Right from [the] beginning, [has been] very much supportive about our issue or problem. So, it is my duty, on behalf of six million Tibetan people, [sic] their life constant fear, difficult. So I want to thank you,” the Tibetan spiritual leader said.
During his visit to Strasbourg, the Tibetan spiritual leader also met with Martin Schulz, the President of European Parliament and the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
During his meeting with the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, the Tibetan spiritual leader urged European officials to offer more ‘constructive criticism’ to China on its Tibet policy.