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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

UK urges China to meet with Dalai Lama

October 22, 2009

By: Toby Cohen
Religious Intelligence (UK)
October 20, 2009

China must invite the Dali Lama to talks if there
is to be any progress on Tibet, concluded a
delegation of British parliamentarians who
travelled to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) at
the invitation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The All Party Parliamentary China Group, led by
Lord Steel of Aikwood, found that "there is a
real opportunity for dialogue between the PRC and
the Dalai Lama. We believe that common ground
exists between both parties and should be explored with a view to resolution.”

The delegation saw that an independent Tibet was
not feasible, and praised the Dalai Lama for not
pursuing this end, and denouncing all forms of violence.

It also praised the PRC for an "openness to
exploring all options for the future of Tibet
with the exception of independence; strongly
committing to the development of Tibetan
infrastructure; acting to preserve Tibetan
culture; and emphasizing a desire for ‘social
harmony’ on the 17th Communist Party Congress.”

However, while the report’s authors maintained
the importance of presenting an optimistic
outlook, they conceded there was very little
reason to hope that the PRC would extend an
invitation to the Dalai Lama in the near future.

Furthermore their vision of that meeting was at
odds with anything the PRC could envisage. The
delegation said: "We note the strong merits of an
independent intermediary assisting those talks.
We recall the beneficial role of mediators in
Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, and South Africa, amongst others.”

Yet during their time with representatives of the
PRC, this suggestion was always met with scorn.
They claimed to have had a full and frank
exchange with the Chinese authorities on a range
of issues, including human rights abuses, and
were told plainly that the PRC would see inviting
a third party to mediate talks with the Dalai
Lama would be a sign of weakness. The Tibetan
tensions are seen very much as an internal
problem, with which the Chinese resent international interference.
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