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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."

Encouraged by backing from intellectuals in China: Dalai

February 22, 2010

February 21, 2010,

Los Angles (PTI) -- Tibetan spiritual leader the
Dalai Lama says China remains "very hardened"
towards him and fellow Tibetans though he is
encouraged by the growing support for the Tibetan
cause among Chinese intellectuals.

Two days after his historic meeting with US
President Barack Obama at the White House, the
Dalai Lama said there has been no progress in the
latest round of talks with China on the vexed
Tibet issue and over his call for greater autonomy.

"No progress...... Always the Chinese authorities
[are] very hardened. Not only [against] Tibetans,
but also... toward their own people," the exiled
Tibetan spiritual leader told the Los Angeles
Times when asked if he saw any progress on the Tibet issue.

The last round of negotiations between his envoys
and officials of the Chinese government were held
last month but reported no progress. China told
representatives of the exiled Dalai Lama that it
would make "no concessions" on Tibetan sovereignty.

The 74-year-old spiritual leader of Tibetan
Buddhism, who arrived in Los Angeles on Friday,
said he found some reasons to cling to hope that the standoff could ease.

"The number of Chinese intellectuals and writers
[coming] out, they openly support our middle way
approach and [are] very critical of their own
government policy," he told Los Angeles Times.

The Dalai Lama claimed that Chinese intellectuals
had become more sympathetic to Tibet as a result
of pro-autonomy demonstrations in 2008 that
prompted a swift, violent response from Chinese authorities.

Since then, he said, he has met many Chinese who
say they were unaware of the Tibetan issue until
the demonstrations. Now, he said, they find his
call for a self- governing Tibet that remains a
part of China to be "very sensible, very logical”.

He also said Chinese writers had published 800
articles in support of Tibetan autonomy, 300 of
them published in China itself. Those figures
could not be independently verified, the paper said.

He said he had met with Obama because "it was my
duty to inform or report what the situation was
in the relationship with the Chinese government."

China had reacted angrily on the Obama-Dalai Lama
meeting by accusing the US of double-speak on
Tibet and "seriously undermining" bilateral ties
by "conniving" with anti-Beijing separatist forces.

China describes the Dalai Lama as a "separatist"
and accuses him of pursuing Tibet's independence,
a charged denied by him saying that he is only
seeking greater autonomy for the remote Himalayan region.

The 14th Dalai Lama was the administrative and
spiritual leader of Tibet before going into exile
in India in 1959 when China wrested control over the region.
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