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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."

Kalam meets Dalai Lama at his official palace

January 5, 2009

Dharamsala, Jan 2, 2009 (IANS) Former Indian president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Friday evening met Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at his official palace in Mcleodganj near here, officials of the government-in-exile said.”The spiritual leader received Kalam at Kangra airport at 3 p.m. and accompanied him to his official palace,” Tenzin Taklha, a senior aide to the exiled leader, told IANS.
“The duo (Kalam and the Dalai Lama) shared their thoughts during the 45-minute meeting at the latter’s palace,” he said.
He said during the one-hour journey from the airport to the palace they also shared their thoughts.
“He (Kalam) just came to see him (the spiritual leader),” Taklha said.
This was Kalam’s first visit to the Nobel laureate’s palace.
“This was the first visit of the former president to his palace. Earlier, they met twice; but in New Delhi,” Taklha said.
Later, the former president left for Hamirpur town, where he will take part in the convocation of the National Institute of Information and Technology Saturday.
This was Kalam’s second visit to Himachal Pradesh following his December 2004 tour as president.
The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following Chinese occupation of Tibet. The government-in-exile is based in this town and around 100,000 Tibetan exiles live in India.
In recent months, the Buddhist monk has travelled across the world to garner support for “meaningful autonomy” for Tibet. He has denied China’ claims that he wants independence for Tibet, saying he only seeks greater autonomy.
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