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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?"

Lama's return if he meets demands

July 9, 2008

By Pranay Sharma
India-Asia News Service (IANS)
July 7, 2008

Beijing, July 7 (IANS) -- The Chinese government has indicated it is
willing to consider the issue of the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet
provided he fulfill some of its demands, including disbanding his
'government-in-exile' and publicly acknowledging Tibet to be an
"inalienable" part of China. "The Dalai Lama has not met any of the
conditions yet. Once he does, we can look at it and take a decision,"
Wang Pie Jun, deputy director general of the Chinese government's
information bureau, told a group of visiting Indian journalists here Monday.

The other demands include immediately stopping all "splittist
activities," stopping sabotage of the Olympic Games, stopping support
to the Tibetan Youth Congress and acknowledging Taiwan as a part of China.

The official pointed out that China's policy on the Dalai Lama's
return was consistent and said that while Beijing had been keen on it
in the 1980s, it was the Tibetan leader who had rejected the proposal
and refused to come back.

The set of demands put forward by China suggests it is willing to
continue its engagement with the Tibetan spiritual leader, despite
its apparent displeasure with him for what it sees as not being
sincere in what he is preaching.

"We cannot go by his words alone, we need to closely see his
actions," Sun said by way of responding to arguments that the Tibetan
leader has publicly acknowledged most of the demands that China seems
to have put as conditions for consider the prospect for his return to Tibet.

After the last round of talks between China and Tibetan leaders July
1-2, Lodi Gyari, the chief Tibetan negotiator, said the talks with
China remained on the "life support system" because of indifference
of Chinese authorities.

He went on to add that Beijing's decision to hold talks was a
"gimmick to take off international pressure from the games".

Sun tried to play down his negative response and argued that China
awaited a detailed response from the Dalai Lama's side in a few days.

He also said that though he was not aware of the details of the
talks, there was a strong likelihood that the next rounds of
negotiations between the two sides will be held by the year-end.

China is of the view that the March 14 violence in Lhasa, allegedly
instigated by the Dalai Lama, was a "big mistake" on the Tibetan
leaders's part in judging the response of China, its people and most
of the other countries in the world.

"The Chinese living in the country and outside were totally united on
the issue of the country's sovereignty and strongly criticised the
Dalai clique's attempt to create trouble in Lhasa," Sun said.

He said that many of them had even suggested that Beijing should stop
all contacts and negotiations with the Dalai Lama.

According to him, the Dalai Lama started condemning the violence and
distancing himself from the violent attacks only after he saw the
negative response to the "riots" in Lhasa from different parts of the world.

"Many in the western capitals were also debating whether it was wise
for them to jeopardise their foreign policy objectives on the Tibet
issue," Sun added.

Asked to comment on the role of India on the volatile issue, he said
that India and China have maintained "friendly exchanges" during the
crisis and Beijing and its people were appreciative of New Delhi's
stand to prevent attacks on the Chinese embassy and Tibetan Youth
Congress workers' plan to sabotage the Olympic torch relay in India.

"We don't want to see the Dalai group engaging in reckless activities
in India," Sun said. He added that even in India many views were
being expressed on whether the Tibetan government-in-exile was
becoming a "burden" for New Delhi.
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