Webdiarist Alan Curran believes that our Prime Minister has timed his visit to Japan to avoid offending the Chinese Government by receiving the Dalai Lama. Looking at the dubious nature of the hybrid cars photop-op, I can't help but wonder if he's right.
The message of keeping a clear mind in the face of adversity is, as Kerry O'Brien concludes, a timely one. To mark the occasion of the Dalai Lama's Australian visit, here's the transcript of his 7.30 Report interview broadcast last night.
KERRY O'BRIEN: Your holiness, you have described what is going on in Tibet as cultural genocide. How severe? How rapid a genocide in your terms?
DALAI LAMA, TIBETAN SPIRITUAL LEADER: My expression, like this: whether intentionally, or unintentionally, some kind of cultural genocide is taking place. Word genocide qualified right from the beginning. The reason, in fact, is the administration in autonomous area and also outside of the mission of Tibet, Chinese officials put a lot of restrictions - Tibetans study. And last year, or, I think two years ago, I met with some Tibetan student who came from mainland China from Tibet, and study in America. Some of them, see, can not speak Tibetan, only Chinese. So, since they are majority of the population, the minority Tibetan in their daily life, they have to use Chinese language rather than Tibetan. So, these are unintentionally some kind of - all elements of the situation, the Tibetan culture, heritage, including language - degenerate.
KERRY O'BRIEN: It must concern you, if that continues for uninterrupted long enough, then Tibetan culture disappears, or becomes very weak?
DALAI LAMA: Yes, yes. Would die.
KERRY O'BRIEN: You've argued Tibet's case to the world and to China for decades now. Do you think the fact that younger Tibetan protesters have become more militant this year - the fact that they have - reflects some frustration at the failure of your leadership and your dialogue to force change in Tibet?
DALAI LAMA: Yes, it is true now a growing sort of feeling of frustration now growing among Tibetan is understandable. So, the criticism towards my stand also increasing. Sometimes they won't listen to my suggestions or my advice. But, of course, I respect - you see, they are utilising freedom of speech, freedom of heart. I'm always telling them I have no authority to say, "Shut up". It is up to you.
KERRY O'BRIEN: But you have a moral authority?
DALAI LAMA: Oh, yes. Even those people, I think they love me, they respect me, but in certain views, they have different. But as far as violence and non-violence is concerned, I think generally Tibetan, you see, including youth organisation, generally they support, they agree, non-violent principle. But some individual, one or two - that's a different question.
KERRY O'BRIEN: You have urged Tibetans not to demonstrate against the Olympic torch, but do you sympathise with those who see the torch route through Tibet itself as a provocation?
DALAI LAMA: Our citizens do not seeking separation and then, moreover, the Olympic Games. I think, over a billion Chinese brother, sisters really feel proud of it. Therefore, we must respect. So, in the past, many occasions I appeal, including Tibetan, should not disturb that sort of ceremony, or even torch. For example, after incidents in London and Paris because of the disturbances, so I particularly, specifically appeal to Tibetan community in San Francisco, don't make disturbances. I appeal. So, in visit in area of Tibet, I personally feel may not much disturbances. It's better. Not much use.
KERRY O'BRIEN: Do you think that China's long-term strategy is simply to wait you out. That you are the most effective focus of resistance on Tibet? That if they simply wait you out in the expectation that you're gone, that you will be gone one day, and at that point what is left of Tibetan resistance will fade away?
DALAI LAMA: There are two opinions since early '80s - there are two opinions even among the Chinese. One opinion, yes, Dalai Lama as a troublemaker. So, after he gone, he pass away, the thing's automatically solved. That's one opinion. Another opinion is better while that troublemaker remains there, you can deal.
KERRY O'BRIEN: Not quite like dealing with the devil?
DALAI LAMA: Yes, devil, with horn. One say, "That demon, gone." Then nobody can truly represent or in other words, I think I'm popular among Tibetan. I'm, I think, I don't know. I think if I say Tibetan, I think generally, listen. Majority, certainly majority of them listen. Therefore, while such person alive, it is better to find solution.
KERRY O'BRIEN: I assume that even the Dalai Lama acknowledges human frailty. What negative emotion do you personally have the most trouble with?
DALAI LAMA: Anger - sometimes.
KERRY O'BRIEN: Is that right? How do you deal with it? What makes you angry?
DALAI LAMA: If you ask some silly questions again and again, then I may lose my temper.
KERRY O'BRIEN: But you haven't lost your temper today?
DALAI LAMA: Yes. One time in New York, in America. One New York Times - what do you call?
DALAI LAMA'S ASSISTANT: Columnist.
DALAI LAMA: Columnist. One lady asked me, "What is your, sort of, legacy after me?" And I told, "I'm Buddhist practitioner. I cannot think about my name after me". So, important is while I alive I should do something useful for other. Then she again that same question. Then I answer same way. Then, third time - then I lost my temper.
KERRY O'BRIEN: So, how do you deal with anger?
DALAI LAMA: But I think the basic mental attitude, I think, through training. If you're basic mind calm, then anger come, go, comes and go. Not remain.
KERRY O'BRIEN: And that's the important thing?
DALAI LAMA: Yeah, that's important.
KERRY O'BRIEN: Not hanging onto your anger.
DALAI LAMA: No, no. Within minute, it go. Now, for example, after 10 March, a lot of anxiety, a lot of sadness and also feeling of helplessness. So, intelligence level, a lot of disturbances. But things, you see, on deeper mind, I think through years, years training of mind, so senses are quite calm. So, these disturbances on intelligence level may not disturb much deeper level. So, at least, in spite of the many, sort of, worry, I think one indication, since last, now, more than two months, 10 March, when I give some sort of lecture on Buddhism, my mind not that much clear. I think that's I think as disturbances in my intelligence level. But, you see, these disturbances never destroy my sleep. So that, I think, at a deeper level, still calm mind. I feel like that.
KERRY O'BRIEN: And on that note, we'll have to end the interview. But thank you very much for talking with us today. Thank you.
DALAI LAMA: Thank you, thank you.
KERRY O'BRIEN: Some well-timed advice from the Dalai Lama on anger management and finding the inner peace.