Dalai Lama: West must tell China it is wrong over Tibet


The Dalai Lama today urged Britain and other Western countries to be frank with Beijing over Tibet  -  and put human values above economic growth.

He said: "If you are a true friend, a close friend, then it is important to make clear the wrong things about your friend," he said.

"The economy is important, but human values are more important. Human issues like human rights."

The 72-year-old was speaking on the second day of his 11-day visit to Britain, weeks after the bloody crackdown on Tibetan monks demonstrating against Chinese rule and the disruption to the Olympic torch relay.

Dalai Lama

Be frank: The Dalai Lama, pictured meeting David Cameron in the Tory leader's office, urged Britain and other Western countries to be honest with Beijing over Tibet

He said: "While you are making close relationship in the business field, there is no point in forgetting about principles."

He added he would attend the Beijing Olympics if the Chinese agreed to talks and improved the situation in Tibet.

"I'm happy to go there, but this is entirely dependent on our meeting," he said.

Talks began via envoys this month and will restart in June. "If the meeting becomes something concrete, constructive, and in the meantime the situation inside Tibet improves, and it appears some kind of long-term solution happens, then I am ready to go there," he added.

Earlier the Dalai Lama made a direct appeal to the people of London to help Tibet gain more freedoms.

Olympic Torch protest

Tibet campaigners demonstrate during the Olympic torch relay in London last month

Speaking at the House of Commons he said ordinary Londoners could make a difference by giving facts about Tibet to Chinese students and businessmen
visiting the capital.

He also urged the capital's large Chinese and Tibetan communities to come together and launch a Sino-Tibetan friendship organisation to promote closer ties.

He urged sympathetic Londoners to extend the hand of friendship to China and help convert its "intellectuals".

Later the Dalai Lama met David Cameron in the Tory leader's office.

Downing Street defended the decision for Gordon Brown to meet the Dalai Lama at Lambeth Palace on Friday and not at No10, emphasising the visitor's spiritual rather than political leadership.

But former Lib-Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell said many people would conclude Mr Brown wanted to see him but not offend the Chinese government.

The Dalai Lama will hold private talks with Prince Charles at Clarence House tomorrow.

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