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5 july 2012 002Dharamshala: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama recently gave a full exclusive interview to the International Network of Street Papers (INSP)* while on his European visit. In the interview, he spoke candidly and with integrity on a range of contemporary issues that included, poverty, the global financial crisis (and its consequences), censorship in China, and the role of independent media and their extreme importance in today's society.

The interview was published worldwide on the second of July and over 12 thousand street vendors who sell the paper worldwide will directly benefit as a result of the interview. The INSP have said they are, ‘' immensely grateful to His Holiness for his support" and said, "To have an exclusive interview with the Dalai Lama is an extraordinary achievement for INSP and our street papers''.

The exiled spiritual leader praised the street paper model, a model that directly profits homeless vendors who buy magazines at half price and sell them on the streets at the cover price

In the interview which was held in a Scottish castle His Holiness expressed empathy with the homeless stating: "On some level, I am also homeless'', a reference on his exile from Tibet since 1959.

His Holiness in particular commented on the fallout from the current financial and economic crisis, he said: "The real causes of the present difficulties
started with the past governments and some companies. I think, without a proper plan in place, they are simply concerned about immediate profit and are not concerned about the long-term consequences. [...] The results now are due to their own actions''.

Regarding censorship, particularly in communist China, he said that people must know the truth and that censorship is ultimately immoral. He commented further "The 1.3 billion Chinese people have every right to know the reality. And once they know the reality of their situation, they also have the ability to judge what is right and what is wrong''.

The INSP is a confederation of newspapers that was founded in 1994 on the principle of helping homeless people deal with poverty, and other associated problems such as alcoholism and drug abuse. It is now involved in over 100 street press projects in 40 countries, across all six continents, in 24 languages, with a combined readership of almost 6 million readers per edition.

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E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com