Dalai Lama pays respects to Tiananmen Square victims

DHARAMSALA - The spiritual head of the Tibetan community, the Dalai Lama, Thursday paid his respects to those who died during the Tiananmen Square movement in 1989.

“On occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square students’ democracy movement, I honour those who died expressing the popular demand for the government to be more accountable to its people,” the Nobel peace laureate said in a statement.

“The students involved in the Tiananmen Square movement were neither anti-communist nor anti-socialist. Their speaking out in defence of the Chinese people’s constitutional rights, in favour of democracy, and taking a stand against corruption, truly conformed to the underlying beliefs of the Chinese communist government.

“This was confidently stated by the then party chief Zhao Ziyang. Therefore, the forthcoming 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China presents a great opportunity to review the events of June 4, 1989,” the Dalai Lama noted.

“It is my hope that the Chinese leaders have the courage and far-sightedness to embrace more truly egalitarian principles and pursue a policy of greater accommodation and tolerance of diverse views.”

“A policy of openness and realism can lead to greater trust and harmony within China and enhance its international standing as a truly great nation,” the Buddhist monk, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in the same year, said.

Over the last 20 years Chinese authorities has refused to apologise for the deaths of protesters on the night of June 3-4, 1989.


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