"Openness and freedom of speech are essential, under fear, with police watching, how can harmony develop? Harmony by gun - impossible. "his holiness said in a speech that was full of tongue in cheek comments aimed at the Chinese government, the Tibetan spiritual leader said that some Chinese officials aimed to portray him as "demon - with horns, their thinking is almost childish", his holiness opined
He also said that he only ever wanted self governing autonomy "autonomy" for Tibet and not total separation from the Chinese state. When told by some Tibetans that they feared to visit his government in exile based in Dharamshala, India for fear of it being infested with spies, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that "Any spy is welcome, We have nothing to hide."
His holiness spoke of the Chinese propaganda that gave Tibetans a bad image among the Chinese population; he believed that the propaganda made the Chinese think that Tibetans were "backward and stupid". Incidentally the Chinese regime had invited the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet in the 1980's but the Nobel peace prize winning monk had declined the offer saying that "The issue is civil rights. Until they address that, there's no point in my return"
The bridge conference was organized by Tenzin Delek, who had lived in Tibetan refugee camps in India until 2008 said that" The Western education system is all about objectivity. It's easier for us to understand each other's position here in the melting pot of America".