Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama marked the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing by urging China to embrace democracy and offering prayers for the protest "martyrs".
The Dalai Lama, reviled by Beijing as a separatist, made the rare comments on the June 4, 1989, violence at a prayer meeting two years after he renounced politics.
"I offer my prayers for those who died for freedom, democracy and human rights," the Nobel Peace Prize winner said according to a statement posted on his website.
"While great progress has been made to integrate into the world economy, I believe it is equally important to encourage China to enter the mainstream of global democracy," he added.
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