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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Dalai Lama envoy says Tibet talks tough, ill-timed

July 6, 2008

By Abhishek Madhukar
Reuters
July 4, 2008

DHARAMSALA, India, July 4 (Reuters) -- An envoy of the Dalai Lama
said on Friday the latest round of talks with China was "tough",
calling the dialogue ill-timed because Beijing was preoccupied with
the Olympic Games. The secretive talks, held from July 1-2 in
Beijing, aimed to mend fences with the exiled Tibetan spiritual
leader, but were marked by an aggressive reiteration of the Chinese
allegation that the Dalai Lama instigated the March unrest in Tibet.

"It was tough," Lodi Gyari told Reuters. "Before the Olympics it is
not feasible to hold talks ... they are obsessed with the Olympics.

"There is some widespread belief that they are only meeting because
of the Olympics," he said of the talks, which could burnish China's
international image weeks before the Games.

This was the second meeting between the two sides since a March
crackdown on protests against Chinese rule in Tibet, which led to an
international diplomatic chorus for China to hold a dialogue with the
exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

Tibet then became a flashpoint for anti-China protests that disrupted
the Olympic torch relay around the world and led to calls for state
leaders to boycott the Beijing Games, which open on Aug 8.

Lodi Gyari was expected to brief the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan
government-in-exile officials about the talks on Friday.

The two sides will meet again after the Olympics, but Lodi Gyari
warned that unless the Chinese authorities were serious any dialogue
was just a waste of time.

"After Olympics when we hold talks, we will know what the true
attitude is," he said. (Writing by Krittivas Mukherjee; Editing by
Alex Richardson)
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