The Dalai Lama waves after his arrival in Passau September 21, 2010 (Reuters/Michael Dalder)
October 08, 2010. (KATAKAMI / Reuters) – Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama offered his congratulations to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo for winning the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, calling on the government to release him and other jailed activists.
“Awarding the Peace Prize to him is the international community’s recognition of the increasing voices among the Chinese people in pushing China towards political, legal and constitutional reforms,” the Dalai Lama said in a statement on his website (www.dalailama.com).
“I have been personally moved as well as encouraged by the efforts of hundreds of Chinese intellectuals and concerned citizens, including Mr. Liu Xiaobo in signing the Charter 08, which calls for democracy and freedom in China.”
Liu helped organise the “Charter 08” petition which called for sweeping political reforms and was modelled on the Charter 77 petition which became the rallying call for the human rights movement in communist Czechoslovakia in 1977.
“I believe in the years ahead, future generations of Chinese will be able to enjoy the fruits of the efforts that the current Chinese citizens are making towards responsible governance,” the Dalai Lama added.
“I would like to take this opportunity to renew my call to the government of China to release Mr. Liu Xiaobo and other prisoners of conscience who have been imprisoned for exercising their freedom of expression,” he said.
Beijing was furious when the Dalai Lama won his Peace Prize in 1989, the year of the Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protesters by Chinese authorities.
China accuses the Dalai Lama of fanning a violent campaign for separatism. He denies China’s charges against him, and says he only seeks more meaningful autonomy for Tibet through purely peaceful means.
Chinese Communist troops marched into Tibet in 1950. The Dalai Lama fled in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, and has since campaigned for self-rule from exile.