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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."

Dalai Lama says he is loosing faith on talks with China

October 28, 2008

By Phurbu Thinley
Phayul
October 26, 2008

Dharamsala, October 26 -- Tibetan Leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Saturday said in the absence of any positive response from Chinese
government to his sincere approach on Tibet issue he would now ask
the fellow Tibetan people to decide the future course of action.

The 73-year old Tibetan leader said he is now loosing faith in
dealing with the Chinese government, saying he had already made
enough concession and sincere efforts on his part in seeking only
greater autonomy for Tibet under Chinese rule through his "middle way" policy.

The Tibetan leader, however, added that his "middle-way" approach has
received support from increasing number of Chinese scholars and said
he still holds faith in the Chinese people and has not given up on
efforts to convince them.

The Tibetan leader made the statement during the 48th Founding
anniversary celebration of the Tibetan Children's Village (TCV) in
Dharamsala, which serves as the base to Tibet's government-in-exile
in northern India.

The Tibetan leader's comments come ahead of a new round of talks
between his envoys and Chinese government officials at the end of October.

China has repeatedly accused the Dalai Lama of leading a campaign to
split Tibet from the rest of the country. The Dalai Lama denies the
allegations, saying he is only seeking a solution to the Tibet issue
within the constitutional framework of the People's Republic of China.

"So far I have been sincerely pursuing the mutually beneficial
Middle-Way policy in dealing with China for a long time now but there
hasn't been any positive response from the Chinese side," the Dalai Lama said.

"I have now asked the Tibetan government-in-exile, as a true
democracy in exile, to decide in consultation with the Tibetan people
how to take the dialogue forward," the Dalai Lama said.

The Nobel peace prize winner sent an unusually strong message to his
fellow countrymen. He called on them to take greater role in deciding
the future course of action, saying China has failed to respond to
his sincere approach.

"I have always maintained, even in the Strasbourg Proposal (1988),
that the final decision regarding Tibet will be made by Tibetan
people," the Dalai Lama said in addressing a huge audience who have
come to see the school's annual celebration.

Reiterating his earlier statements that the "issue of Tibet is the
issue of Tibetan people and not an issue of the Dalai Lama alone,"
Dalai Lama yesterday said the Tibetan masses would now make efforts
to decide how to take the dialogue forward.

"The issue at hand is the welfare of the Tibetan people and is not
about my personal status and affairs. It is about the problems that
the Tibetan people were facing," he said.

The Dalai Lama last month called a 'special meeting' of 'all Tibetan
exile groups for next month to discuss the progress of the talks and
the situation inside Tibet'.

The Tibetan leader said he did this in response to the lack of any
sincere approach from the Chinese government in the dialogue process
and the worsening state of affairs within Tibet following the
widespread anti-China protests from all sections of Tibetan people
across the region earlier this year.

The 73-year old Tibetan leader said the massive demonstrations were
an outbreak of long pending deep resentment of Tibetan people against
decades of Chinese rule and its wrong policies practiced in the region.

"Even under extreme fear of repression, Tibetan people showed great
courage in expressing their aspiration and, deep resentment and
discontentment against Chinese rule," His Holiness said.

Following the massive unrest, the Dalai Lama said, he hoped Chinese
government would make productive efforts in finding a constructive
solution to the Tibet problem.

"Unfortunately, the demonstrations in Tibet have been violently
suppressed by the Chinese police and military. Besides, Chinese
Government went on to create a distorted image of the situation and
described the unrest as work of separatist elements to split China," he said.

"From my side I have made all efforts and kept all door open for
China to clear their mistrust and show evidence to prove their
accusations against us," he said, adding "but [Chinese side] showed
no response at all."

"In the absence of any appropriate and timely response from Chinese
leadership, my position as the Dalai Lama is only becoming an
obstruction instead of helping find a solution to the Tibet issue," he said.

"As far as I'm concerned I have given up," he added.

"So, in the coming meeting Tibetan people must take serious
responsibility to discuss the future course of action on Tibet and
find out where what has stalled our dialogue process," The Dalai Lama said.

The Dalai Lama Saturday made his first public appearance in
Dharamsala since returning from Delhi on Monday after undergoing a
surgery to remove gall stones.

In his speech, the Dalai Lama thanked Tibetans and well-wishers
around the world for their prayers for his continued well being
during his medical treatment.

"I have already undergone a successful surgery and I am doing
absolutely fine now," the Dalai Lama said.

"There is now no need to worry about my health," the Dalai Lama told
a huge public function attended by His Eminence the Gyalwa Karmapa
Rinpoche and, senior leaders and officials of the Tibetan Government-in-exile.
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