Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has criticized Chinese leaders for misleading the world about the situation in Tibet. His comments came in an address to foreign journalists in Tokyo.
The Dalai Lama came to Japan to take part in panel discussions with scientists but the exiled Tibetan leader did not shy away from the political spotlight. In an address to foreign correspondents in Tokyo, the Tibetan spiritual leader criticized what he called Chinese government propaganda regarding Tibet. He said Beijing was fooling the world into thinking the situation between the Tibetan people and the Chinese had improved.
"Please go to Tibet and see if things are really good as the Chinese government says," said the Tibetan spiritual leader. "Then tell us that our view is wrong. Then we will apologize - no problem."
The Dalai Lama's criticism came in response to a question from the Xinhua agency - the official news agency of the Chinese government. The reporter suggested that Tibetan culture had become popular among the Chinese - that both sides were learning to co-exist peacefully. The Dalai Lama dismissed that notion and suggested that was the image Chinese government was trying to sell to the world. He said they had done so by censoring anyone who questioned them.
"People should have full knowledge of reality whether good or bad," he said. "For that reason transparency is very essential. That is lacking in all these authoritarian governments. Particularly in the People's Republic of China."
Tensions between the Tibetan people and Chinese government led to violent clashes in March last year. The unrest in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, began with demonstrations that marked the 49th anniversary of Tibet's failed uprising against China. But it turned into an anti-government protest with Tibetans attacking Chinese migrants and shops. The Chinese government has said more than 20 people died in the riots, but Tibetans argue that number was much higher.
In his address Saturday, the Dalai Lama said Chinese police never tried to stop the violence.
Beijing has accused the Tibetan spiritual leader of instigating the violence in Lhasa, but he has denied those allegations.
Two Tibetans were executed earlier this week for their roles in the riots.