The Dalai Lama has greeted the Chinese people on the occasion of their Lunar New Year. In an open letter to the Chinese people Sunday, he said, "I extend my greetings to all our Chinese brothers and sisters across the globe, including the mainland China".
The 73-year-old Nobel Laureate wrote that President Hu Jintao's policy of creating a harmonious society was laudable, but that it could not be brought about "by brute force and autocracy." The letter said Chinese citizens should not only have "economic facilities, but they should also enjoy freedom of conscience, education and to know what is actually happening around the world." The Dalai Lama ended the letter by saying he hoped and prayed that China will be able to create a harmonious society in the coming year.