Wolf in a monk's robe
He said he wasn’t a God but it was still great to meet him.
Self-effacing, intelligent and determined the Dalai Lama delighted parliamentarians this morning. One of his main worries is one that we know well in Wales. In Inner Mongolia, there are now 4 million local people and 20 million Chinese.
The Dalai Lama believes that the Chinese intend to settle a million more Chinese in Tibet.
They deny education in the Tibetan language and insist on monoglot Chinese only. ‘We will become an insignificant minority in our own country’ he said. Although his message is a serious, his impish humour kept breaking through. He was concerned that Chris Mullin had lost so much hair in their 30 year friendship. His audience accepted his reasonable call for discussions on the autonomy of Tibet as a region of China. He said he asked the Tibetans in San Francisco not to demonstrate against the Olympic Torch.
He said that he had been described as a "Wolf in monk's clothing''. He was asked whether recent events had damaged the case for non-violent resistance as practiced by Gandhi. He said the sad recent experience was that violent intervention appeared to be more efficient, whether by East or West.
The only point of disagreement was his final comment that he respected President Bush. Chairman Chris Mullin MP said ‘Perhaps we can talk about that later.’