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Dalai Lama envoy asks China to suggest way forward: Report

April 11, 2009

April 9, 2009

Dharamsala, April 9 -- China must suggest ways to
break a deadlock in talks on Tibet or the Dalai
Lama's representatives will assume Beijing is not
interested in a negotiated solution, Reuters
reported an envoy of the exiled Tibetan leader as saying on Wednesday.

The last round of talks between China and envoys
of the Dalai Lama failed in November when Beijing
rejected their calls for "high-level autonomy" for Tibet.

Premier Wen Jiabao said last month that China was
open to more talks as long as the Dalai Lama
renounced what Beijing describes as separatism.

Kelsang Gyaltsen, the Dalai Lama's representative
to Europe, said the Tibetan side had already put
their proposals on the table at the last meeting
in the form of a memorandum that Beijing rejected.

"If there is any seriousness and political will
on the part of the Chinese government, the ball
is now in their court," the report quoted Kelsang
Gyaltsen, who took part in the negotiations with
China, as telling reporters during a visit to London.

"They have now either to come up with their own
suggestions for a way forward or we have to
assume that the Chinese government is not
interested in ... finding a mutually acceptable
solution through dialogue with the Tibetans," he said.

However, he reportedly said the Dalai Lama's
envoys had not yet reached this conclusion. "The
time (since November) is too short. Let's see," he said.

He also urged European governments to take a
common position on Tibet that was "clear and strong".

Gyaltsen said China's increasing influence in the
world made the Tibet issue more, rather than less, important.

"It's important to the Chinese government what
the outside world thinks about China. So ...
today's members of the international community
have more leverage to influence ... the Chinese
leadership than 20 years back," he said.

Because of Tibet's potential for social
instability, foreign governments interested in
China's peaceful development also had an interest
in the Tibet issue being solved, he said.

Peaceful protests by Buddhist monks against
Chinese rule in March last year escalated into
massive anti-China unrest across Tibet. Tibetan
exiles say more than 200 people died in the
crackdown. The unrest is described by many as the
largest uprising since the Tibetan National
Uprising of 1959 which was brutally crushed down by Chinese military force.

China sent military troops to occupy Tibet in
late 1949 and the Dalai Lama fled the mountainous
region in 1959 after the failed uprising against Chinese rule.

Meeting in Dharamsala, India, last November,
Tibetan exiles reaffirmed their commitment to the
Dalai Lama's "Middle Way" approach that seeks
"real and meaningful" autonomy within the
constitutional framework of PRC instead of outright independence for Tibet.

The Dalai Lama recently said China lacks
sincerity in the talks. The 73 year old Tibetan
leader said he was losing his trust in the
Chinese government but maintained that his faith
in the Chinese people remains unshaken.

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