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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Dalai Lama Shrugs Off Apparent Snub By Obama

October 12, 2009

October 8, 2009

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled religious leader, on
Thursday shrugged off an apparent snub by President Barack Obama, saying he
was assured Obama would raise Tibetan issues when he visits China next

"He already indicated that he's going to speak with the Chinese and it seems
he (will be) seriously engaging with the Chinese about (the) Tibet issue,"
the Dalai Lama told CNN's "Situation Room" in an interview in Washington.

"More serious discussion is better than just a picture, so I have no
disappointment," the 74-year-old Buddhist monk said, referring to a missed
photo opportunity with Obama.

Obama, who will visit Beijing in mid-November, broke with the practice of
his previous three predecessors and did not host the Dalai Lama for a brief
chat at the White House.

The decision not to meet the Tibetan leader was made amid efforts to improve
U.S.-China relations on issues from global warming and international finance
to reigning in North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Human rights groups and opposition Republicans criticized Obama for being
soft on China.

But the Dalai Lama, in Washington this week to receive a human rights award
and conduct a series of spiritual lectures, said he was told by envoys that
Obama's decision was taken "in order to avoid embarrassment to the Chinese

Describing Obama as "not only sympathetic" but eager to do "something
practical" to help the rights situation in Tibet, the Dalai Lama urged
critics "to think more holistically" and not focus on the lack of a meeting
at the White House.

He told CNN he expected to meet Obama in Washington after the U.S.
president's November summit with Chinese leader Hu Jintao, at the end of
this year or early in 2010.

China sent troops into Tibet in 1950, prompting the Dalai Lama to flee to
India to establish a government in exile.

(Reporting by Paul Eckert, editing by Anthony Boadle)
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