Dalai Lama, in Croatia, Scolds China
Sun Jul 7, 2:10 PM ET
SPLIT, Croatia (AP) - The Dalai Lama said Sunday that if China wants to play an important role globally, it should become a democracy and loosen its hold on Tibet.
"And that's where Tibet sees its chance," the exiled Tibetan leader told reporters in this southern Croatian city, on the second day of his visit to Croatia.
The Dalai Lama is on a four-day visit to Croatia, but the government does not want to see him, evidently trying to avoid problems with China.
While he said he could not foresee when it would be possible for him to return to Tibet, he said: "Time is on Tibet's side."
The Dalai Lama, considered by his supporters both head of state and spiritual leader of Tibet, fled the mountainous region in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese communist rule.
He lives in exile in India and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
The Dalai Lama came to the predominantly Roman Catholic Croatia to the delight of thousands of Croats, who respect him as one of the world's most prominent spiritual leaders.
Tickets for his lectures here have been sold out.