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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Dalai Lama back in India, Tibetans tell China to stop media attacks

April 27, 2008

NEW DELHI (AFP) — The Dalai Lama returned Saturday to India as the exile
Tibet government told China to stop attacking the spiritual leader
following Beijing's offer to hold talks to defuse the Tibetan issue.

The spiritual icon arrived in the Indian capital from a two-week US trip
where he sought Washington's help in improving the situation in his
homeland and met followers.

He was due to fly to the hill station of Dharamshala, where his exile
government is based, later in the day, officials said.

"He is back in New Delhi" and would travel on to Dharamshala later on
Saturday, an official of his office said.

The office declined to give exact details of the 72-year-old's itinerary
but said he had no public engagements planned in Dharamshala where he
has lived since fleeing Tibet following a failed uprising there against
Beijing in 1959.

His return came after China's official Xinhua news agency said on Friday
government officials would meet "in coming days" with one of his envoys.

The announcement drew praise from the United States and around the world
amid hope it could lead to a solution to the recent Tibetan unrest.

But on Saturday, China's media kept up its attacks on the Dalai Lama
with the state press accusing him of destabilising the Himalayan region.

"The vilification of His Holiness must be stopped by the Chinese
authorities because these attacks hurt the sentiments of Tibetan people
very deeply," exile Tibet government spokesman Thubten Samphel told AFP.

The continuation of the vilification was "unnecessarily provocative,"
Samphel said by telephone from Dharamshala.

"Instead of defusing the situation, it is making it more tense," he
said. "This attempt to demonise His Holiness will not work."

The Chinese "must stop this campaign, they must stop repression (in
Tibet) and they must tackle the real causes" of the unrest in Tibet.

China's People's Daily on Saturday reported only briefly Beijing's talks
offer as it published scathing articles on the Dalai Lama, one of which
denounced him as "the chief ringleader of activities to sabotage the
normal religious order of Tibet."

On Friday, the Dalai Lama welcomed China's offer to meet his envoy for
talks after weeks of protests over Tibet and repeated calls from the
exiled spiritual leader for dialogue with Beijing.

The Dalai Lama's spokesman Tenzin Talka described the offer as "a step
in the right direction" and said "only face-to-face meetings can lead to
a resolution of the Tibetan issue."

But in a later statement the exile government said on Friday it would
"require normalcy in the situation in the Tibetan areas for the formal
resumption of the talks."

It added it was committed "to take all steps, including informal
meetings, to continue in bringing about this."

Violent rioting against Chinese rule erupted in the regional capital
Lhasa on March 14, and quickly spread across huge areas of the Tibetan
plateau, casting a shadow over the Beijing Olympics in August.

China had hoped the Games would be symbolic of its rising status but
instead they have has become a target for critics of Beijing's rule over
Tibet and its human rights record.

Anand Ojha, a political analyst at Delhi University, said the talks
invitation may prove hollow.

"Who says China has blinked? It's Chinese chequers as this invitation
takes out the wind from the Tibetans' campaign of protests ahead of the
Olympics which was a becoming a matter of huge concern for China," he said.
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