[Hindustan Times] DHARAMSALA, Nov 30: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has applauded the spirit of Hong Kong democracy movement, but has stressed upon adopting a ‘realistic approach’ to achieve the goal.
“The spirit of the Hong Kong movement is good. They should keep it. However, sometimes their approach needs to be more realistic. Just shouting slogans may not achieve their goal,” said the Dalai Lama in an interview with business magazine Nikkei Asian Review.
“The students of Hong Kong are using freedom of expression and are very concerned about democracy. This is their right,” the spiritual leader was quoted as saying.
The 79- years old Nobel Peace Laureate said that the Chinese government always says, “Democracy, democracy!” but still there was a tight control.
In the month of September, pro-democracy activists took to the streets outside Hong Kong government headquarters against China’s selection of candidates for the election due in 2017.
The movement, which started as “Occupy Central with Love and Peace” (OCLP) was later called the “Umbrella Revolution” as protesters used yellow umbrellas to resist pepper spray from the police.
Last week, Tibetan prime minister Lobsang Sangay participated in a panel discussion on “Hong Kong, China: One City, Two Visions” at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada.
The Tibetan PM said that Hong Kong protest indicated that democracy was touching the shores of China.
“The recent protest in Hong Kong is an indication that democracy is touching the shores of China. Protest in Hong Kong is a test for the Chinese government and the people of Hong Kong,” he was quoted as saying.
Sangay said that the ‘One Country, Two Systems of Hong Kong’ has its genesis in the 17-Point Agreement that the People’s Republic of China signed with Tibet under duress on May 23, 1951.
Exile Tibetans and pressure groups have also expressed their support and solidarity with the Hong Kong protesters.