Oslo, Norway, 9 May 2014: - 'Like peace, Human Rights do not come from merely making good wishes,' the spiritual leader of Tibet His Holiness the Dalai Lama said during a meeting with members of the Norwegian Parliament, adding 'it will require real action.'
His Holiness met on the steps of The Storting, the Norwegian Parliament building by Ketil Kjenseth, Liv Signe Navarsete and other Members of Norwegian Parliamentary Group for Tibet.
"I'm a great admirer of democracy. I often say that the world belongs to the whole of humanity; we are the owners. Each country belongs to the people who live there. When a government is chosen by the people it is accountable to those people," expressed His Holiness after the members of the Parliament introduced themselves.
Regarding the environment, he said that a Chinese ecologist had estimated the significance of Tibet to be equivalent to that of the North and South Poles, so he had described Tibet as the Third Pole. Asia's major rivers have their source in Tibet and 1 billion people depend on their waters.
"As everybody knows, I'm a Buddhist monk," His Holiness said, "committed to promoting human values, inter-religious harmony and the preservation of Tibet's Buddhist culture and natural environment." His Holiness later added, "Like peace, progress on human rights will not come about just by making good wishes, it will require action."
Kjenseth opened the meeting to questions from the floor and the first was regarding religious conflict. His Holiness replied that such conflict is normally political or economic rather than religious. He commented that while it is sufficient for an individual to think personally of one religion, in today's world on a community level we have to respectfully acknowledge several religions and several truths.
Another questioner began by expressing the hope that His Holiness had felt the warmth with which he is received in Norway. He said: "You're always smiling, what's the reason?"
"Peace is actually related to inner peace. Anger destroys our inner peace, while love, compassion and forgiveness are its source. As for why I laugh and smile, that's my secret! Laughter is one of our unique human abilities."
To a question about how he sees the future of an autonomous Tibet, His Holiness said Tibetans want the Chinese authorities to grant the rights and privileges to Tibetan areas. These include human rights and environmental issues, for example, where mining is being undertaken contrary to the wishes of the local people. He said he tells Chinese friends, 'Look at India with its many different scripts and languages and no threat of separatism.' Tibetans want religious freedom, the right to preserve their language and culture.
When a questioner suggested that human rights violations in Tibet are among the worst anywhere, His Holiness replied that, Tibetans are proud of their culture and the installation of CCTV cameras in every corner of Lhasa and in temples has created an atmosphere of fear and suspicion.
"At present China spends more on internal security than on defence; no one else does this," added His Holiness.
A question was raised about the self-immolations. His Holiness said, "This is a very sensitive issue," and that such "drastic action," draws attention away from the underlying issues between China and Tibet.
"When they began I told a BBC correspondent that such events were really very sad and questioned how effective they would be for the Tibet issue. Later, in Japan I stated that these events are symptoms of a cause which urgently needs to be investigated and addressed."
China, which considers the Tibetan spiritual leader a subversive separatist, has accused him and his loyalists in exile of fomenting the self-immolations, which have embarrassed the Chinese authorities.
After the top Norwegian officials refused to meet the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, thousands of Tibetans and supporters turned out in large numbers to express their support for His Holiness and to wish him a long life, at each event in Oslo.
On Saturday, His Holiness travelled to Rotterdam in which he expressed his deep concern for the situation in Tibet, "If Tibetan Buddhist culture is damaged in Tibet, who knows what will happen."