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Dalai Lama envoy eyes reaching out to Chinese people

May 21, 2009

Reuters
May 20, 2009

TOKYO -- Envoys of the Dalai Lama are seeking to
reach out directly to the Chinese people after
talks on Tibet between Beijing and the envoys
reached deadlock, an envoy of the exiled spiritual leader said on Wednesday.

The last round of talks between the Chinese
government and the Dalai Lama's envoys failed in
November when Chinese officials rejected their
calls for "high-level autonomy" for Tibet.

"Unfortunately, so far, there has been no signal
from the government in Beijing that they are
ready to resume the dialogue," Kelsang Gyaltsen,
the Dalai Lama's envoy, told a news conference in
Tokyo, which he is visiting to meet supporters of
the 1989 Nobel Peace laureate.

"So against this background, the position of his
holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan
leadership in exile is, while we remain ready to
engage in serious discussions with the Chinese
government ... we will intensify our approach in
reaching out to the Chinese people."

They are trying to form Sino-Tibetan friendship
associations as well as publishing more in the
Chinese language on Tibetan culture and religion,
Gyaltsen said, adding they have no direct way of
sending such material to China.

The Chinese government, which has been using its
diplomatic clout to try to block the pro-Tibetan
message, calls the Dalai Lama a reactionary who
seeks to split off nearly a quarter of the land
mass of the People's Republic of China.

The 73-year-old exiled leader, who lives in
India, denies the charge and says he seeks only
greater rights for Tibetans, including religious freedom and real autonomy.

In March, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said China
was open to more talks with the representatives
of the Dalai Lama as long as the spiritual leader
renounces what Beijing describes as separatism.
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