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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."

Tibetan Envoys to Arrive in China Tomorrow for Talks

May 4, 2008

By Saikat Chatterjee

May 2, 2008 (Bloomberg) -- Representatives of the Dalai Lama, the
Tibetan spiritual leader, will reach China tomorrow to hold the first
face-to-face talks with the Chinese government since protests in Tibet
in March led to a government crackdown.

"We are hopeful that China is realizing that there is a problem with
their policies,'' Tenzin Taklha, a spokesman for the Tibetan spiritual
leader, said by phone from Dharamsala in northern India. "It is
heartening that the Chinese are willing to address these issues
realistically and work with our side to reach a mutually beneficial
situation.''

China's decision to meet with Lodi Gyari, the Dalai Lama's
Washington-based special envoy, and Kelsang Gyaltsen, his envoy to the
European Union, may break a deadlock after riots in March prompted
global protests over Chinese rule of the territory. China has previously
blamed the Dalai Lama for triggering the biggest protests in Tibet in
almost 20 years.

The U.S. had urged China to reach out to the Dalai Lama, while also
saying the dispute over Tibet shouldn't wreck a developing strategic
relationship. The last discussions between representatives of China and
the Tibetan government-in-exile took place in July 2007.

Chinese police say rioters killed 22 people in the Tibetan capital Lhasa
on March 14, while the Dharamsala-based government says troops have
killed at least 140 protesters since the demonstrations began. China
took control of Tibet in 1951.

"We'll explain our concerns about how the ongoing repression is a result
of the protests,'' Taklha said. "We will suggest steps that we feel will
reduce the tension.''

The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against
Beijing's rule.

Protesters against China's control over Tibet have held demonstrations
alongside the Olympic torch relay in cities including Paris and San
Francisco. Today, there were a few scuffles in Hong Kong as the torch
passed through the city, according to police. No arrests were made. The
relay is leading up to the Beijing Olympics in August.

To contact the reporter on this story: Saikat Chatterjee in New Delhi at
schatterjee4@bloomberg.net.
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