Speaking from Japan, the Dalai Lama told reporters that he has supported the Beijing Olympics “right from the beginning,” but that protesters have a right to voice themselves. His government in exile, however, released a statement in opposition to the demonstrations that have followed the Olympic torch.
New York Times:
“We are not anti-Chinese,” he said in a press conference at Tokyo’s international airport in Narita. “Right from the beginning, we supported the Olympic Games.” Speaking of pro-Tibetan protesters, he said nobody “has the right to tell them to shut up.”
He faulted Beijing for suppressing anti-government unrest in Tibet last month, saying its use of violence was “an outdated method” that did not solve the underlying problems. That unrest, the largest in the region in two decades, and the resulting Chinese crackdown have brought sympathy protests around the world where demonstrators have demanded greater freedom in Tibet.
In a separate statement on Thursday, the Tibetan government in exile, based in India, said it did not support the disruption of the Olympic torch relay. Beijing has blamed the Dalai Lama for masterminding the recent unrest in Tibet.