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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."

UN chief urges Tibetan dialogue with China

April 30, 2008

Agence France-Presse
April 29, 2008

GENEVA - United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday welcomed
initiatives by the Chinese government for dialogue with the Dalai Lama,
saying he hopes Tibetan representatives will seize the opportunity.

He called the move by the Chinese "encouraging", and said: "I hope the
Tibetan representatives will take this opportunity to engage in dialogue
with the Chinese authorities."

He also expressed regret at how the Tibet issue has become entwined with
the Olympic Games, which Beijing will host this summer.

"I feel very sad about what has happened. This is sports, the Olympics
should not be mixed up with (politics). Sports games should be sports
games," he said during a forum at the United Nations in Geneva.

"I regret what has happened over the Tibet issue over the Olympic
Games," the third to be held in an Asian country, he said.

Meanwhile, some 150 protestors gathered outside the UN headquarters in
Geneva, urging Ban to send a special envoy to Tibet.

The issue erupted on March 10, when protests in Lhasa marked the
anniversary of a 1959 uprising against China's rule of the region. These
protests escalated into widespread violence across the city on March 14.

Ban's aides had earlier said he is unlikely to attend the Olympic
opening ceremony in August, although they insisted that the decision had
nothing to do with the unrest in Tibet.
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