Join our Mailing List

"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

Dalai Lama Begins Germany Tour With Calls For Tibet's Autonomy

May 19, 2008

Hindustan Times
May 15, 2008

The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader who arrived in Frankfurt
on Thursday on a five-day tour of Germany, called for "genuine
autonomy" in his native Tibet but stressed that he did not want the
territory's complete independence from China.

Frankfurt, May 15 -- "Talks between his representatives and the
Chinese government had failed to generate the trust that was
necessary to resolve the issue," he said on the first day of a visit
to Germany.

On the devastating earthquake in China, the Tibetan spiritual leader
said that he was deeply affected by Monday's earthquake which left
15,000 dead and 30,000 missing in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

The 72-year-old, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for
his efforts to achieve a non-violent solution to the Tibetan problem,
said that he would pray for the victims.

Frankfurt was the opening leg of his Germany visit which will see the
Dalai Lama speak on human rights and meet with a member of Chancellor
Angela Merkel's cabinet in Berlin.

After his plane touched down, the Tibetan spiritual leader attended a
breakfast hosted by Roland Koch, the conservative premier of the
state of Hesse where Frankfurt is located.

Chinese officials and representatives of the Dalai Lama have been
meeting in the Chinese city of Shenzen to discuss the situation in
Tibet, following freedom demonstrations in March that left an
undetermined number of dead.

On Wednesday, China protested at the Dalai Lama's planned meetings
with Economic Assistance Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul and
legislators at the German parliament.

The "Dalai Lama is not a a normal monk, but a political exile who
carries out anti-Chinese and separatist activities abroad under the
guise of religion, human rights and autonomy", a statement released
by the Chinese embassy said.

The talks with Wieczorek-Zeul and members of the parliamentary
foreign affairs committee are due to take place May 19 when the Dalai
Lama will also deliver a speech at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.

The run-up to the visit was marked by a domestic row because no
member of Merkel's government was prepared to meet him. The meeting
with the economic assistance minister was arranged at the last minute.

Merkel is in Latin America and her deputy, Foreign Minister
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, turned down an official request for a
meeting because he does not have time.

China has previously warned Germany not to offer the Dalai Lama "a
platform for his separatist activities" related to his calls for
greater autonomy for his native Tibet.

Merkel met the Dalai Lama at the federal chancellery last September,
a move which led to a chill in relations between Berlin and Beijing
that ended only in January after intense German diplomatic efforts.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
Developed by plank