Appreciating his call for democracy in China, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama on Friday congratulated jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo for winning the Nobel Prize for Peace.
"I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Mr Liu Xiaobo for being awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize," said Dalai Lama in his congratulatory message while appreciating the Chinese rights activist who is one of the authors of Charter 08, a plea for democratic and legal reform in China that was initially signed by 303 people but eventually garnered over 10,000 signatures before Chinese censors blocked its circulation on the Internet.
"Awarding the peace prize to him is the international community's recognition of the increasing voices among the Chinese people in pushing China towards political, legal and constitutional reforms," said Dalai Lama who called for the release of Liu from Chinese prison. Liu, 54, was sentenced last year to 11 years in prison for subversion.
The Dalai Lama expressed hope that the "efforts" of Chinese intellectuals would bear results in future. "I believe in the years ahead, future generations of Chinese will be able to enjoy the fruits of the efforts that the current Chinese citizens are making towards responsible governance," said he.
Praising Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's recent comment on freedom of speech being indispensable to any country, the Dalai Lama said it reflected the growing yearning for a more open China. "Such reforms can only lead to a harmonious, stable and prosperous China, which can contribute greatly to a more peaceful world," said he.
The Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel for peace in 1989, seeks greater autonomy for Chinese-controlled Tibet.
He renewed his call for releasing Liu Xiaobo and other Chinese imprisoned for exercising their freedom.
PM of Tibetan government-in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche said Nobel for Liu was international community's recognition of his outstanding contributions made to advancement of freedom and personal liberty in China. "His involvement in organising Charter 08 is an act of unparalleled courage," said Rinpoche adding that Liu had been supporting the cause of Tibet and the middle-way policy, which seeks more rights for Tibetans under provisions made by Chinese constitution.