Tales from the Trail

Dalai to Washington special syntax brings

February 18, 2010

The Dalai Lama, fresh from his controversial meeting with President Barack Obama, greeted the U.S. press corps during a blustery press conference on Thursday outside his Washington hotel, and delivered his pearls of wisdom with a brand of syntax that sometimes leaves listeners scratching their heads.

“Important is truth,” the grinning Dalai Lama told reporters, when asked if he ever got discouraged about China’s implacable resistance to his cause.

“This is not question of justice how soon achieved. Something worthwhile, make attempt. Then, whether materialize this goal within one’s own lifetime or not, it doesn’t matter.”

Hundreds of Tibetan well-wishers gathered outside the hotel, waving Tibetan flags and prayer banners and chanting slogans including “Long Live the Dalai Lama” and “Thank You Obama!”

China, meanwhile, expressed “strong dissatisfaction” and “resolute opposition” to the Dalai Lama-Obama meeting.

The Dalai Lama said he was happy with the Obama administration’s open support for his efforts, although he noted that “time will tell” whether it will have any impact.

He also appeared satisfied with his relations with Obama (“quite young, energetic, tall”), noting that since exiled Tibetans began electing leaders in 2001, the U.S. president had something to teach him.

“In political field he is my boss.  In spiritual field, I am his boss. I mentioned this to the president and to the secretary of state,” the Dalai Lama said, before letting loose one of his trademark giggles.

He had sterner words for China, however, saying that while Tibet should remain a part of the People’s Republic for its own economic interests, it should also be allowed to maintain its own unique cultural heritage. Beijing “childish” policies, including censorship, had left the world’s most populous nation with some unrealistic expectations, he said, adding that China was taking the wrong model — the Soviet Union — in its drive to become a superpower.

“Open society. Democratic. Independent judiciary. That superpower brings more trust, more comfort,” the Dalai Lama said. “So China should eventually be such a superpower which brings happiness, satisfaction, calm, ease.”

Photo Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas (The Dalai Lama greets supporters outside Washington D.C. hotel)

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