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5november20103Surajkund, India: The sixth International conference of Tibet Support Groups began in Surajkund, near New Delhi in India, on November 5th, 2010, with a call from His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the international community to look at the Tibetan issue from three aspects rather than merely a human rights prospective.

His Holiness, despite being slightly indisposed (he joked that the mouth cover he was wearing made him look like a Jain monk), spent a considerable period of time explaining the three key aspects of the Tibetan issue as being that of ecological, culture and human rights issues. In terms of the ecological aspect of the issue, His Holiness said more than a billion people in the region may be depending on the water that comes from rivers that originate on the Tibetan plateau. Therefore, His Holiness said people in the region who will be impacted by changes to the Tibetan environment have the right to express their concern at the future of Tibet.

On the Tibetan issue also being a cultural one, His Holiness explained the distinction that he makes between Tibetan Buddhism as a religion and Tibetan Buddhist science and philosophy. He said "Tibetan Buddhism as a religion was the business of Buddhists alone. However, Tibetan Buddhist science and philosophy can contribute to the development of humanity beyond the Buddhist world."

His Holiness also said in recent years more and more Chinese have been paying attention to the Tibetan issue indicating that the struggle is a just and moral one. He also said some people accuse the Tibetans of internationalizing the Tibetan issue. Comparing the dialogue process with the Chinese government to the right hand and reaching out to the international community to the left hand, His Holiness said if there is a concrete result to the right hand the left hand does not need to do anything.

His Holiness said, "A stumbling block to finding a solution to the Tibetan issue is the lack of transparency, existence of distorted propaganda and censorship in China. Once these are not present and there is an independent judiciary, the Tibetan issue can be resolved quickly."

His Holiness said he advocated a gradual change in China rather than overnight transformation into a democracy. He added that given the nature of the Chinese system any overnight change could result in a chaotic situation that will not be in the interest of China or the world. He suggested that just as he was thinking of retirement, the Communist Party in China should think of gradual retirement with grace and honour.

Earlier, the inaugural ceremony began with the Master of Ceremony Vijay Kranti inviting His Holiness the Dalai Lama and former Indian deputy prime minister L.K. Advani to light lamps on the occasion of the Indian festival of lights, Diwali.

More photos of the event please use this link. The conference will continue until the 7th of November. More detailed news please visit Tibet Net.

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