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Dalai Lama's Envoys Travel to Beijing for Talks With Chinese Officials

October 31, 2008

By Anjana Pasricha
Voice of America
New Delhi
October 30, 2008

Two envoys of the Dalai Lama are traveling to Beijing for talks with
Chinese officials on Tibet. As Anjana Pasricha reports from New
Delhi, the dialogue will be held days after the Tibetan spiritual
leader expressed frustration at lack of progress in talks with China.

The Dalai Lama's spokesman on Thursday expressed hope that Chinese
officials will use the new round of talks with the Tibetan leader's
envoys to "respond positively."

The talks are in continuation of a dialogue that began in 2002 - and
will be held days after an unusually blunt Dalai Lama said that he is
losing hope that the dialogue with China will lead to any settlement on Tibet.

The Tibetan spiritual leader has been seeking some form of political
autonomy that would allow Tibetans to freely practice their culture
and religion.

But on the weekend he said at a public function that he had "given
up" because there was no positive response from China in the talks
held so far. He suggested that the Chinese leadership does not seem
interested in addressing the Tibet issue in a realistic way.

The Dalai Lama's spokesman, Tenzin Takhla says there is a sense of
frustration among Tibetans.

"His Holiness, not only his Holiness, all the Tibetans have been
frustrated at the lack of response, lack of positive response from
the Chinese," he said. "Rather than admitting there is a problem
inside Tibet, that there is a issue, the Chinese keep insisting that
everything is fine and that Tibetan people inside Tibet are happy,
they blame His Holiness for the unrest, they say there is no Tibetan
issue. So we hope the Chinese would use this opportunity to respond
positively."

This week's talks will be the second between the Dalai Lama's envoys
and Beijing since Chinese security forces crushed anti-China riots
which erupted in March in Tibet.

Beijing blamed the Dalai Lama's supporters for engineering the
violence, while the Tibetan leader said the protests were like a
"people's movement."

Tibetan officials in India have convened a meeting of Tibetan exile
communities and political organizations in mid-November to consider
the foundering dialogue with China. Some observers say the meeting
may consider a shift in strategy.

So far the Dalai Lama's has adopted what he calls "the Middle Way" -
non violence and more dialogue with the Chinese. But there has been a
growing impatience among younger Tibetan exiles with that strategy.

China has ruled Tibet since 1951, and denies any charges of
repression in the region.
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