The Dalai Lama, in Guwahati since Saturday for the five-day Festival of Tibetan Art and Culture, said the non-violent struggle for Tibet's freedom will set an example for hundreds of other nations struggling for freedom.

"Chinese communist hardliners are trying to destroy Tibet's rich heritage and culture. They have been putting restrictions on Chinese citizens who want to learn more about Tibet's art, culture and history," he said addressing a gathering that included Tibetan refugees, at the Nehru Stadium in Guwahati.

The Dalai Lama, however, said there were 400 million people across the globe who wants to learn the Tibetan language and study the art and culture of the region despite obstacles by China.

He said Tibet's non-violent struggle for freedom must continue and appealed to the people to make the 21st century a time for peace through dialogue.

The Tibetan leader also interacted with members of the Tibet Support Group from Assam.

"We must continue our freedom struggle through non-violence, which is the Buddhist way," he said.

"It is important for us to win the struggle. If the struggle or the movement fails, the world will feel that non-violence and Buddhism has failed," he added.

"Victory of the non-violent movement or the Buddhist way of struggle is important for China also as there are many Buddhists there. The Chinese government must understand this," he said.

The Dalai Lama also said the Tibetan movement was important for environmental aspects.

"The mighty Brahmaputra river, which flows through many parts of India and southeast Asia, has its origin in Tibet. The success of the Tibetan movement is an imperative for saving the environment and ecology of the entire world," he said, referring to China's move to build hydro power projects on the Brahmaputra.


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