Dalai Lama Criticizes China's Nobel Reaction

Pro-democracy protesters raise pictures of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo with Chinese words reading: ‘Release Liu Xiaobo’ during a demonstration outside the China's Liaison Office in Hong Kong, 08 Oct. 2010

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has criticised China's opposition to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Japan's Kyodo news agency spoke to the Dalai Lama Monday as he passed through Tokyo's Narita international airport.

It quoted the Dalai Lama as saying China's government "does not appreciate different opinions."

Kyodo said he called for an "open society" in China, saying that is "the only way to save all the people of China."

Dalai Lama congratulated 2010 Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo Friday on winning the Nobel peace prize and called on the Chinese leadership to release Liu Xiaobo and other "prisoners of conscience" who have been imprisoned for exercising their freedom of expression in China. He said the award is the international community’s recognition of the increasing voices among the Chinese people in pushing China towards political, legal and constitutional reforms.

Beijing has denounced the jailed Nobel winner Liu as a criminal and said the decision to honor him was a discredit to the award. Liu's wife said Monday she has been barred from leaving her house.

The Dalai Lama won the Peace Prize in 1989. Along with former Czech president Vaclav Havel and fellow Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama supported Liu for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP