Dalai Lama expresses concerns over violent protests in Hong Kong
Taipei, Sept. 6 (CNA) The Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has expressed his concerns over the violent protests that have been taking place in Hong Kong, stressing that peace is most important and all problems should be resolved through dialogue.
In a recent interview with Taiwan's Hakka Television at Himachal Pradesh in India, the Dalai Lama talked about the current situation in Hong Kong, where there have been violent protests in recent months against an extradition bill that would have allowed the local authorities to extradite Hong Kong criminal suspects to China for trial.
"When Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) created 'One Country Two Systems' it was very practical, very good, but in recent weeks, a lot of disputes happened. I feel a little worried," according to a translation of Hakka Television's statement quoting the Dalai Lama.
"I think it's best for every place to maintain peace. Peace is very important," the Dalai Lama was quoted as saying. "We can resolve any problem through dialogue, rather than negative actions in response to anger, which are useless. These disturbances caused by the disputes are very serious. What I can do is limited; I can only pray for them."
In the past three months of protests in Hong Kong, there have been violent clashes between protesters and the police, with some demonstrators trashing the parliament building LegCo, destroying facilities in subway stations, stopping normal functioning of the airport and antagonizing police officers by throwing objects at them or hitting them.
The Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama
The police have responded with increasingly forceful methods, including using water canons, beating protesters with batons, and firing rubber or bean bag bullet guns at them, in addition to using tear gas.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam formally declared on Wednesday a withdrawal of the proposed bill, but the announcement failed to appease some of the protest leaders, who vowed to continue demonstrating, including carrying out disruptive protests, until China allows free democratic elections in Hong Kong.
The Dalai Lama meanwhile praised Taiwan's democracy, freedom and religious knowledge, assets which he said are the answers to defeating totalitarianism.
"The Taiwanese people should not to be demoralized, but keep their enthusiasm, and most importantly, non-violent, peaceful ways," he was quoted as saying in the statement.
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, who currently resides in Dharamshala, India also talked vividly about his previous visits to Taiwan, saying that if there was an opportunity in the future, he would be more than willing to come for another visit.
His one-hour exclusive interview will be aired by Hakka TV at 10 p.m. Sunday.
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