His Holiness The Dalai Lama

His Holiness in Scandinavia 15-24.May 2000


   "The support is moral, not political."
Headlines and quotes from DN, Daily News,
during the Dalai lama visit.

More information at: Swedish Tibet Projects


WTN-L World Tibet Network News  


The Office of Tibet in London

His Holiness the Dalai lama to the Scandinavian countries from 15 - 24 May 2000

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will meet the Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers of Denmark, Norway and Sweden and the King of Norway during the visit to the Scandinavian countries from 15 - 24 May 2000. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will also address 14 major public talks and religious teachings.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will arrive in Sweden on 15 May and will meet the Swedish Foreign Minister Ms Anna Lindh on the morning of 16 May. Then His Holiness the Dalai Lama meets the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament Mrs Birgitta Dahl at the Parliament House. In the afternoon, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will address the members of the Swedish Parliament. This is organised by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) and will take place in SIIA Hall.

Before leaving Stockholm His Holiness the Dalai Lama will have a breakfast meeting with the Swedish Prime Minister Mr Goeran Persson at the official residence on 17 May morning. Then His Holiness the Dalai Lama will travel to Lund at the invitation of Swedish Organisation of Individual Relief, the oldest Swedish group that has assisted Tibetan refugees since the 1960s.

From Sweden, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will travel to Denmark on 18 May. While in Copenhagen His Holiness the Dalai Lama will speak at a series of public conferences organised by the Dialogue at Dawn.

The Presidium of the Danish Parliament will officially receive His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 18 May afternoon at the Parliament. The Presidium consists of the Speaker and the four Deputy-Speakers of the Danish Parliament who are the leaders of the four main political parties in Denmark. This will be followed by an address to the members of the Danish Parliament at the Parliament House.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will meet the Danish Prime Minister Mr Poul Nyrup Rasmussen at Copenhagen airport just before leaving for Stavanager, Norway on 21 May morning. Mr Rasmussen is returning earlier than scheduled from a State Visit to Poland to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

At Stavanager airport the Mayor, the Bishop and Representatives of the Worldview Rights will welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In the afternoon His Holiness will give a public talk. This will be followed by a short conversation between Mr Thor Heyerdahl, an 84-year-old man voted the most Important Norwegian of the 20th Century.

On the final leg of the Scandinavian visit, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will meet His Majesty King Harold at the Royal Palace on 22 May. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will also meet Prime Minister Mr Jens Stoltenberg on 23 May and Foreign Minister Mr Thorbjorn Jagland respectively on 22 May. At the invitation of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will address the members of the Norwegian Parliament at the Parliament House on 23 May.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama leaves Oslo for India on 24 May.




 His Holiness the Dalai lama to visit SOIR- the Swedish Organization for
Individual Relief, Lund, Sweden

IM, Lund, Sweden

During his fifth visit to Sweden His Holiness the Dalai lama will be the guest of SOIR- the Swedish Organization of Individual Relief on May 17th. H H the Dalai lama has been a close friend of SOIR for more than thirty years due to SOIR's support of the Tibetan people in exile now residing in India and Nepal. H H the Dalai lama visited SOIR and Sweden for the first time in 1973; this will be his second visit to the organization.

On the morning of May 17th, before leaving Stockholm for Lund, H H the Dalai lama will be invited to have breakfast with the Swedish prime minister Goran Persson. This is the first time a Swedish prime minister will meet H H the Dalai lama.

On the evening of May 17th H H Dalai lama will give a lecture on "Human Value and Religious Harmony" at the Victoria stadium in Lund. There will be 4,600 people in attendance. The evening will be hosted by Stina Lundberg, a well-known Swedish journalist who did a television interview with H H Dalai lama a few years ago.

On May 16th, the day before the visit of H H the Dalai lama, a big concert will be arranged by SOIR at the Victoria stadium for the Tibetan people in exile. The artists are Petter, Robyn, Mikael Wiehe, Lisa Ekdahl and Richard Thompson.

SOIR's support of the Tibetan people in exile consists of education, health care, assistance supplementary to their own efforts and preservation of the Tibetan culture. In addition, SOIR supports a mobile medical team and the construction of schools in the Tibetan country side.



"The support is moral, not political."

NetFriends of Tibet  


Headlines and quotes from DN, Daily News, the biggest newspaper in Sweden, during the Dalai lama visit.

13.5.
- "Dalai lama on Tibets future" (on frontpage)
- "Time runs out for Dalai Lama's Tibet"
a big article by Göran Lejonhufvud (in DN Saturday-Sunday magazin)

15.5
- "Dazzlingly wealthy life in Dharamsala" by Göran Lejonhufvud.

Quote: "A Tibetan travelagent tells that some Indians feel envy towards them. - The Indians believe that Tibetans are wealthy because they get a lot of support from outside. But we have worked very hard.
But a local busdriver is angry at Tibetans since they buy them fine clothes and watches.
- We Indians have a simpler lifestile, he said."

Netfriends of Tibet did send a strong objection to Joachim Berner, chief editor. The headline is an insult, but shortsighted people can, unfortunately, feel envy even towards refugees! It happens here too. The reply from DN did not contain any excuses.

16.5.
- "Breakfast with Göran Persson" by Per Ahlin, foreign editor

A very good article since it contains some selfcriticism: Sweden doesn’t take the Chinese protests as easy as it looks like. They have not invited any democratically elected representants from Taiwan for breakfast. Sweden, like many other countries accepts "OneChina".

Quote:
"Dalai lama has been remarkably successful in his efforts to get support from the Worldopinion. But the support is moral, not political."

17.5.
- "Visit inspite of China protests"
- "The flight of lama annoys China", a big article about Karmapa by Göran Lejonhufvud
- "Lindh takes it easy with protests"

18.5.
- "Let China become a memember of WTO", by Leif Pagrotsky (minister of commerce and industry) in DN Debat.

DN comment under the headline: Leif Pagrotsky sends a positiv signal to Peking during the Dalai lama visit.


SUMMARY:
"The support is moral, not political."
Moral support without action?
Political actions without any moral?


WTN-L World Tibet Network News  


Dalai Lama says West could do more for Tibet (Reuters)

STOCKHOLM, May 16 (Reuters) - The Dalai Lama said on Tuesday at the start of a high-profile Scandinavian tour that the West could do more to raise Chinese people's awareness of Tibet's concerns and hopes for autonomy.

The Tibetan spiritual leader's remarks came amid an unusually high level reception by Swedish politicians, including Foreign Minister Anna Lindh and Prime Minister Goran Persson, who brushed aside China's objections to the visit.

"The international community can help immensely to raise awareness about the issue in the minds of the Chinese," the Dalai Lama told a news conference in the Swedish capital.

He said that any effort at a policy of containment towards China would be wrong.

"The policy of containing China is not only impractical, but morally wrong. That great nation of over a billion people should be allowed to develop," he said.

Lindh met the Dalai Lama earlier on Tuesday and Persson was scheduled to meet him on Wednesday. The 1989 Nobel Peace Prize laureate would meet Danish Premier Poul Nyrup Rasmussen on Sunday and Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg next week.

Beijing regularly protests at international visits by the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet for India after an abortive and bloody uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. Since then he has led the opposition to China's grip on Tibet from exile.

The Dalai Lama reiterated that he wants autonomy, not independence, for Tibet, but he said he had had no direct contact with Chinese officials since 1993, in Delhi.

Lindh called for a real dialogue between the Dalai Lama and China, but said that China lacked the will for such discussions, according to Swedish news agency TT.

Persson defended his decision to meet the Dalai Lama.

"The people that he represents and the region are oppressed, and there is a process of China-isation of Tibet which gives cause for international concern, and that is my reason for meeting him," Persson told Swedish radio.

Lindh said that the Swedish cabinet was not shaken by China's expression earlier this week of "strong dissatisfaction" that Swedish government officials would meet the Dalai Lama.

"But I do not understand the Chinese protests. Since we want to work for a dialogue on human rights it is natural that we should meet the representatives that can carry out (such a discussion)," she said.




Sweden could mediate China-Dalai talks, PM says (Reuters)

STOCKHOLM, May 17 (Reuters) - Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson said on Wednesday that Sweden could mediate in talks between China and the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, if an opportunity for dialogue emerged.

"Sweden is not seeking such a role (as a mediator), but should such a situation arise where we could have a role, then we could consider it," Persson said on Swedish radio.

His remarks came after he met the Dalai Lama over breakfast of fruit and tea at the government's official reception building near parliament in the Swedish capital.

The meeting came on the second day of the Buddhist monk's high-profile tour of Scandinavian capitals, which took place despite the vocal objections of China. Beijing earlier this week expressed "strong dissatisfaction" at the visit.

Beijing regularly protests at international visits by the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet for India after a failed, bloody uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. Since then he has led the opposition to China's grip on Tibet from exile.

Persson said the meeting signalled that Tibet's concerns had not been forgotten, but meant no change in Sweden's position which urges improvement on human rights while keeping a cautious stance towards Tibetan autonomy, which is the Dalai Lama's goal.

An editorial in daily Svenska Dagbladet highlighted the difference between this visit and six earlier ones by the Dalai Lama to Sweden when top officials avoided contacts with him.

"That Sweden is now giving official recognition to the Dalai Lama -- and ignoring protests from China -- gives legitimacy to demands for independence or at least autonomy for Tibet, which is the Dalai Lama's more modest demand," the paper said.

The 14th Dalai Lama, also known as Tenzin Gyatso, was scheduled to hold a lecture in the southern Swedish university town of Lund later on Wednesday.

He was due to meet Danish Premier Poul Nyrup Rasmussen on Sunday and Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg next week.




Chinese ignorance blocking solution of Tibet: Dalai Lama (AFP)

STOCKHOLM, May 16 (AFP) - The Dalai Lama said here Tuesday that a lack of 
basic knowledge about Tibet among the Chinese people is a key obstacle to
his drive for greater Tibetan autonomy from Beijing.

"One of the barriers is ignorance," Tibet's revered spiritual leader told a press conference, blaming Beijing for failing to give the people of China the chance to make up their own minds on Tibet's future.

"There is so much propaganda in China, it is so splitting, especially in mainland China, so it is natural that they are unaware. Then they spend some time in the West, and they realize the situation," he said.

But he sounded an optimistic note and said the situation was bound to improve.

"Totalitarian systems are never forever. I don't think the Chinese people will accept this forever," he said.

Asked what help was needed from the West to assist Tibet's struggle for autonomy, the Dalai Lama said: "The international community can help to raise awareness about the issue."

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet with his supporters in 1959 after a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. He heads a government in exile in Dharamsala, India, where about 100,000 Tibetans live as refugees.

Since 1988, the Dalai Lama has called not for full Tibetan independence but "genuine autonomy" within the framework of the People's Republic of China.

The Tibetan leader is in Sweden as part of a European tour which has already taken him to Poland and Germany and which will see him head to Denmark and Norway after his two-day stay in Sweden.

The Scandinavian countries have all agreed to receive the Dalai Lama at the highest level, despite sharp protests from Beijing.

On Wednesday, Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson will hold breakfast talks with the Tibetan, and Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and King Harald V will all meet him during his visits to Copenhagen and Oslo in the coming days.

Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh also held talks with the Dalai Lama on Tuesday, after which she slammed Beijing for its stance on Tibet.

Asked what was needed for dialogue to move ahead, she replied: "The Chinese leadership's willingness."




 Politics aside as Swedish PM talks spirituality with Dalai Lama (AFP)

STOCKHOLM, May 17 (AFP) - Reincarnation and not politics dominated talks here Wednesday when Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson met Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, for the first time.

"We had about an hour-long talk about reincarnation and the differences between various religions, especially the monotheistical religions and the traditions of Buddhism," Persson said after the breakfast meeting.

The Dalai Lama, meanwhile, said he was delighted and surprised that politics gave way to spiritual issues.

"The main topic of discussion included the concept of ... whether there is a Creator," he said. It was "a great honour to discuss the big subject of spirituality with a politician."

The Dalai Lama had already discussed Tibet's drive for greater autonomy from Beijing with Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh on Tuesday, leaving the door open for more ethereal talks with Persson.

China has protested sharply against the Swedish government's decision to receive the Dalai Lama and asked that the talks be cancelled.

However, Persson said Wednesday he did not think Stockholm's relations with Beijing would suffer.

"No, I don't think so. The Dalai Lama has been clear in stating that he stands for a middle way," Persson said, referring to the Tibetan's call not for full independence but "genuine autonomy" within the framework of the People's Republic of China.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet with his supporters in 1959 after a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. He heads a government in exile in Dharamsala, India, where about 100,000 Tibetans live as refugees.

Later Wednesday, the spiritual leader was to give a speech in Lund in southern Sweden before traveling to Denmark, where he will hold a brief meeting with Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen at Copenhagen Airport on May 21.

From there he will travel on to Norway for talks with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and King Harald V.




Dalai Lama breakfasts with Swedish PM (MC)

MAY 18, 2000, M2 Communications - During the Dalai Lama's second day in Sweden, the Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson has stated that his country would perform a mediating role between China and Tibet if this was ever requested.

Persson met the Tibetan spiritual leader over breakfast on 17 May at the government's official reception building in Stockholm and afterwards stated on local radio that 'Sweden is not seeking such a role (as a mediator), but should such a situation arise where we could have a role, then we could consider it' according to Reuters.

This most recent visit by the Dalai Lama to Sweden has been markedly different to six previous ones according to Svenska Dagbladet, a Swedish daily, which said that top officials had avoided contact with the Dalai Lama, probably due to protests from China.

The protests from China have continued this trip, however an editorial in the newspaper stated 'That Sweden is now giving official recognition to the Dalai Lama - and ignoring protests from China - gives legitimacy to demands for independence or at least autonomy for Tibet, which is the Dalai Lama's more modest demand.' The Dalai Lama is expected to meet with the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg when he visits Norway next week.




WTO entry can help China change, Dalai Lama 

COPENHAGEN, May 20 (Reuters) - Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, said on Saturday that membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) could help bring China into the mainstream of the world community.

"I think it is a positive development," the Dalai Lama told Reuters in a brief interview, referring to the market access deal agreed on Friday between China and the European Union, which was seen removing the last major hurdle to Chinese WTO entry.

The Dalai Lama's endorsement provided more clout for the Clinton administration in Washington in its attempt to persuade the U.S. Congress to approve permanent normal trade relations with China.

"We welcome his support for bringing China into the WTO," said White House spokesman Jake Siewert. "Even the people most concerned about human rights and religious freedom in China think that bringing China into the WTO is the right way to go."

The EU, China's third biggest trading partner with bilateral trade of around $56 billion last year, said the WTO working party could resume drafting China's protocol of accession in June, allowing the WTO general council to consider China's entry this summer.

"Joining the World Trade Organisation, I think, is one way (for China) to change in the right direction," the Dalai Lama said after delivering a speech at Copenhagen University on the third day of a four-day visit to Denmark.

The interview with Reuters was organised by the U.S. embassy in Copenhagen.

"I have always stressed that China should not be isolated. China must be brought into the mainstream of the world community," he said.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India after a bloody uprising against Chinese rule in 1959 and has since led the nonviolent opposition to China's grip on Tibet from exile.

Some critics in the West have argued that alleged human rights abuses by Chinese troops and civil servants against Tibetans must stop before China can become a member of the WTO.

The U.S. Congress must approve permanent normal trade relations for China, to help pave the way for WTO entry.

The U.S. House of Representatives has been divided over next week's vote, but support grew rapidly on Thursday after lawmakers reached an agreement to monitor China's human rights record. Passage in the U.S. Senate is virtually guaranteed.

The Dalai Lama said it was "very essential" to create in China an environment marked by "the rule of law." This would help make China "more prosperous and healthy," he said.

In the field of economy, China was already willing to join the world community, the Dalai Lama said, adding: "But at the same time the Chinese leadership is a little reluctant to join world democracy."

The international community should work to dispel what he described as this "unnecessary fear." It would be to the mutual benefit of China and the rest of the world if Beijing joined world democracy, he said.

Asked whether he saw any benefit for Tibet from Chinese membership of the WTO, the Dalai Lama said: "In the long run, no doubt 'yes'." He declined to elaborate.

Before China can join the WTO it must also reach bilateral WTO agreements with Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Switzerland.




Danish PM in hot water after saying Tibet a part of China 

COPENHAGEN, May 21 (AFP) - Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen 
angered Tibet supporters Sunday when he said after meeting the Dalai Lama
that he considered Tibet to be a part of China, Danish news agency Ritzau
reported.

Rasmussen held a 45-minute meeting with Tibet's revered spiritual leader at Copenhagen Airport on Sunday, despite sharp protests from Beijing, which considers the Dalai Lama a separatist intent on splitting Tibet away from Chinese rule.

Following the talks, the Social Democratic leader -- who returned just one week ago from talks with President Jiang Zemin in China -- was asked by a journalist if Denmark considered Tibet to be part of the People's Republic of China, to which he responded "yes."

The Danish government's position has long been to consider Tibet a part of China for all intents and purposes, but not to comment on its status.

"Rasmussen's statement undermines Tibetans' efforts to open discussions with the Chinese about Tibet's future status. China can now reject criticism of the conditions in Tibet by saying that it is an internal matter," said Penpa Dolma Andersen, the chairwoman of Denmark's Support Tibet Committee.

"No other Danish prime minister has said this before now. It is a very serious statement," she added.

The Conservative chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, Per Stig Moeller, agreed that the prime minister's statement was out of line.

"There is no historical basis for this. One can not suddenly say that Tibet is a legitimate part of China. That goes against the history of the 20th century and several United Nations' resolutions that we have even supported," Moeller said.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet with his supporters in 1959 after a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. He heads a government in exile in Dharamsala, India, where about 100,000 Tibetans live as refugees.

Since 1988, the Dalai Lama has called not for full Tibetan independence but "genuine autonomy" within the framework of the People's Republic of China, and has called for an open dialogue with Beijing.

The Dalai Lama left Denmark immediately after the talks Sunday for Norway, where he will hold talks with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and King Harald V.




Dalai Lama says world must push China on democracy 

OSLO, May 22 (Reuters) - The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, said on Monday that the world would have a "moral responsibility" to push for democracy in China if Beijing joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The Dalai Lama, on a four-day visit to Norway, reiterated his endorsement of Chinese entry into the WTO after the market access deal reached on Friday between Beijing and the European Union.

"I welcome this trade agreement between China and the EU," he told a news conference. "Now the world community has a moral responsibility to bring China closer to world democracy."

The winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize said that life for Tibetans was harsh under Chinese Communist rule, but vowed to continue the struggle for autonomy. "No matter what sort of worsening situation I am fully committed," the Dalai Lama said.

"I feel the Tibetan future in the long run is very positive -- maybe this is a mistake," the bespectacled Buddhist monk, clad in his traditional saffron and maroon robe, said after talks with Foreign Minister Thorbjoern Jagland.

He said he was ready to start a dialogue with Beijing "anytime, anywhere" about Tibetan autonomy.

The Dalai Lama, venerated by his supporters as a "God King," has met the prime ministers of Denmark and Sweden over the past week and will hold talks with Norway's Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, on Tuesday, despite vocal protests by China.

Beijing regularly objects to international visits by the Dalai Lama, saying such meetings create a platform for advocating independence for Tibet, which it considers part of China.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India after an abortive and bloody uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. Several violent demonstrations against Beijing have erupted in the region since 1987, almost all led by lamas from Tibet's once powerful monasteries.

The exiled Tibetan leader, who last visited Oslo in 1996, said China's policy toward Tibet had hardened over the past few years, though signs that the gap between China and the West was closing were positive.

"China is the most populated nation. Therefore it is absolutely wrong to isolate China," he said.




Acceptance of violence

Nyrup's acceptance of Tibet's oppression

Editorial from the major Danish newspaper
Politiken 23.05.2000

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen said something correct after the meeting with The Dalai Lama, which at the same time is completety wrong. He said that there can be no doubt that Tibet is a part of China. According to international law he is right, when neither Denmark nor other countries recognises Tibet's autonomy. But he is wrong because there is always more than doubt about the legitimacy of an occupying force. Despite China's de facto rule over Tibet our prime minister shouldn't make statements regarding whether it's Danish foreign policy to view the matter as separate from how the Chinese are behaving towards the Tibetans.

When he does it anyway, it's also logical, that he repeated so many times that he was meeting a religious and not a political leader, that you would think he was paid by the Chinese for every time he said it. Dalai Lama is, if any, both - and it wasn't half a man who came to the meeting at the airport was it.

But it was an emptyhanded man who left after the meeting with Nyrup. Because when the prime minister doesn't want to talk with the Dalai Lama as a political leader he is unable to do anything politically for the Tibetans. They need support to start a dialogue about compromises with China. Instead Nyrup Rasmussen declares that China has no reason to seek any compromises. This means Danish support to the Chinese strategy : To leave time and systematic destruction of work for their business in Tibet. China's breach of the Tibetans' human rights and open disrespect for them as human beings should be retaliated with Western pressure for autonomy in Tibet. This and not independence is what The Dalai Lama fights for and should be given Western political support for.

Nyrup promised continuing economic support for the exile community. He should know that the Tibetans in Tibet has even more need for economic support to preserve their culture. It's adding insult to injury when the prime minister restricts the promise of Danish money to the exile community. But it's a sad logic when he regards the Tibetans as the indisputable property of the Chinese.


WTN-L World Tibet Network News 


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