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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."

Dalai Lama declares he's ready for serious talks with China on Tibet

April 28, 2008

The Canadian Press
April 27, 2008

DHARMSALA, India — The Dalai Lama said Saturday he welcomed China's
offer to hold talks with his envoy, but cautioned the meeting would be
meaningless if Beijing is not serious about trying to solve the root
causes of Tibetan unrest.

Meanwhile, just as it appeared China was reaching out to the Tibetan
spiritual leader, China's state media on Saturday again blamed him for
the deadly violence in the Tibetan capital that threatens to overshadow
the Summer Olympics.

The Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in this northern Indian town, said
the two sides needed to talk seriously about how to resolve the problems
that triggered the riots in the Tibetan capital last month.

"We have to explore the causes of the problems and seek solution through
talks," the Tibetan spiritual leader said a day after China said it
would meet his envoy.

He said he has yet to receive detailed information about the offer but
stressed that talks would be good.

"We need to have serious talks about how to reduce the Tibetan
resentment within Tibet," he said.

"But just mere meeting some of my men in order to show the world that
they are having dialogue, then it is meaningless," the Dalai Lama told
reporters after returning from a two-week trip to the United States.

China's announcement Friday of its offer to meet the Dalai Lama's envoy
gave few details, saying only a "relevant department of the central
government will have contact and consultation with Dalai's private
representative in the coming days."

But on Saturday, Chinese state media started a new campaign attacking
the Dalai Lama and his followers.

The People's Daily, newspaper of China's Communist party, printed an
editorial Saturday attacking "the Dalai clique" for seeking support from
western countries and ignoring "the efforts and achievements made by
China after shaking off serfdom and poverty in Tibet."

The Tibet Daily, another party newspaper, said "the Lhasa March 14
incident is another ugly performance meticulously plotted by the Dalai
clique to seek Tibet independence."

Last month, anti-government riots broke out in the Tibetan capital of
Lhasa, galvanizing critics of Beijing's communist government and
sparking a crackdown from Chinese forces.

The fallout from the unrest and China's response has threatened to
tarnish the Olympics, meant to showcase China's rising prominence on the
world stage. It has already turned the international relay of the
Olympic torch into a lightning rod for protests against China's rule in
the Himalayan region and its human rights record.

The new attacks on Tibet's spiritual leader follow others in recent
weeks in which the government has branded the Dalai Lama a "wolf in
monk's robes" and his followers the "scum of Buddhism."

Beijing's announcement Friday appeared to be a reversal from these
tactics, though it gave few details and repeated long-established
preconditions for real negotiations. One of those conditions - that the
Dalai Lama unambiguously recognize Tibet as a part of China - could
forestall any immediate breakthroughs.

The announcement drew international praise after weeks of calls from
world leaders for dialogue between the two sides. But some critics
questioned whether the overture was only to deflect criticism ahead of
the Olympics.

China says 22 people died in violence in Tibet's capital Lhasa, while
overseas Tibet supporters say many times that number have been killed in
protests and the security crackdown across Tibetan regions of western China.

The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet amid a failed uprising against Chinese
rule in 1959, says he seeks meaningful autonomy for Tibet - not
independence.
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