By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
New York Times, May 22, 2010
The Dalai Lama tried to hold a rare direct conversation with people inside China on Friday, answering questions live on Twitter about the fate of Tibet. The hourlong session with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader was conducted by Wang Lixiong, a Chinese writer and convert to Tibetan Buddhism who lives in Beijing and who met the Dalai Lama for Friday’s online conversation in a hotel room in New York, where the Dalai Lama is visiting. Through a Chinese interpreter, the Dalai Lama sent messages criticizing China’s policies toward Tibet and words of welcome to Chinese citizens. Twitter is blocked in China, but has become popular with thousands of Chinese, especially activists, who find a way around controls. Mr. Wang’s Twitter feed, where the conversation was posted, had more than 8,000 followers as of Friday night.