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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 not a 'separatist', envoys tell China

February 28, 2010

Agence France-Presse (AFP)
February 1, 2010

DHARAMSHALA, India -- Envoys of the Dalai Lama
said Tuesday they had urged China in talks last
week to stop labelling the exiled Tibetan leader
a separatist, and to engage with him on resolving Tibet's future.

In a statement issued a day after their return
from meeting with government representatives in
China, the two envoys said they had refuted
Beijing's portrait of the Dalai Lama as a
pro-independence activist bent on personal and political empowerment.

"We called upon the Chinese side to stop these
baseless accusations against His Holiness and
labelling him a separatist," the statement said.

"Instead, we urged the Chinese leadership to work
with him to find a mutually acceptable solution
to the Tibetan problem," it added.

Kelsang Gyaltsen and Lodi G. Gyari returned from
China on Monday after six days of talks -- the
ninth round of meetings since the two sides
started their secretive dialogue in 2002.

Earlier Tuesday, Beijing said no progress was
made at the talks and stressed that both sides
remained "sharply divided" on the future of the Himalayan region.

Zhu Weiqun, executive vice minister of the
Communist Party body that handles contact with
the Dalai Lama, also reiterated accusations that
the Bhuddist leader was a "separatist" and
"troublemaker" bent on inciting world hatred of
China over its control of his mountainous homeland.

Gyaltsen and Gyari maintained that the main bone
of contention lay in "differing perspectives" of
the current situation in Tibet and said they had
suggested a common effort to study the "actual reality on the ground".

They said they had made it clear to China that
the Dalai Lama, who fled his homeland after a
failed uprising in 1959 against Chinese rule, had
no personal demands to make and was solely
concerned with the rights and welfare of the Tibetan people.

"The fundamental issue that needs to be resolved
is the faithful implementation of genuine
autonomy that will enable the Tibetan people to
govern themselves in accordance with their own needs," their statement said.

The Dalai Lama has long denied Chinese charges of
inciting unrest to further a cause of Tibetan
independence, insisting that his goal is one of
high-level autonomy within the Chinese state.

"It cannot be disputed that His Holiness
legitimately represents the Tibetan people, and
he is certainly viewed as their true
representative and spokesperson by them," the envoys said.

"It is indeed only by means of dialogue with the
Dalai Lama that the Tibetan issue can be
resolved. The recognition of this reality is important," they added.
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