Dalai Lama regrets protests against Olympics torch relay

April 19th, 2008 - 6:10 pm ICT by admin  

Dharamsala, April 19 (IANS) The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has expressed regret for protests targeting the Olympics torch relay, a spokesman of the Tibetan government-in-exile said here Saturday. “Since I have always supported the Beijing Olympics I feel sorry for the incidents (of protests against the Olympics torch relay) that have taken place in London and Paris but fully understand the demonstrators’ desire to express their feelings,” he said.

The Dalai Lama, on a visit to the US, was speaking to reporters at Ann Arbor Friday.

He, however, said, “China needs to look into the poor human rights record at home”.

He said he had sent a written appeal to Chinese president Hu Jintao March 19 soon after anti-China protests began in Tibet early last month.

“We are making an effort to reach out to the Chinese government through a private channel, even though we do not have anything concrete as yet.”

He said he was “fully committed to democracy and the exiled Tibetan community’s structure was fully democratised”.

“Since 2001 we have an elected Tibetan leadership and I am in a semi-retired stage. With provisions given in the Tibetan charter, people have the right to freedom of speech and expression.”

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed coup against the Chinese communist regime.

The Tibetan government-in-exile based here in northern India is not recognised by any nation.

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