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Tibet 'Chinese issue' says Dalai

August 12, 2009

The Dalai Lama on Uighur-Han clashes: "Any violence is wrong"
By Shirong Chen
BBC News
August 10, 2009

The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has said the Tibetan
issue is a Chinese domestic problem.

His statement, given in an interview with the BBC, may breathe new
life into the deadlocked talks between him and the government in Beijing.

But he also said Beijing's policy on ethnic minorities was a "failure".

The Dalai Lama has been campaigning for "meaningful autonomy" for
Tibetans within China, but talks ended last year in bitter
accusations from Beijing.

Between 2002 and 2008, nine rounds of negotiations were conducted
between Chinese officials and his representatives.

They degenerated from the initial cautious welcome to recriminations
from the Chinese side.

Waiting for signals

In an exclusive interview with the BBC Chinese.com, the Dalai Lama
said: "The Chinese government considers our problem a domestic one.
And we also."

 From the late 1980s, his "middle way" approach to the Tibet issue
has gained international sympathy and eventually won him the Nobel Peace Prize.

But his proposals, including autonomy for Tibetans outside the
present boundary of the Tibet Autonomous Region, have been described
by Beijing as a "back door to splitting the motherland".

The mood worsened last year after the riots in Lhasa and other
Tibetan communities surrounding Tibet.

The 74-year-old Dalai Lama put on a brave face during the
wide-ranging and candid interview.

However, he admitted there had been no contact with Beijing after the
talks with the Chinese government became deadlocked last year.

"We are simply waiting" for Beijing to send signals, he said.

On the future of the relationship between the Chinese government and
the Tibetan community, the Dalai Lama pointed out that there were
growing signs of frustration and resentment among the younger generation.

As long as he lived they would follow his instructions on
non-violence, he said, but after he was gone they would have a free
hand, something he called "quite serious".

The Tibet issue reflects wider ethnic problems in China.

While acknowledging the Chinese Communist Party as adaptive to new
realities, the Dalai Lama described China's policy on ethnic
minorities as "a failure".

He said Beijing's approach to the autonomous regions of Xinjiang and
Tibet was not realistic.

"They always look from only one angle - how to keep, how to control.
Only that angle. They don't care about what the local people are feeling."

Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama called the recent riots in Xinjiang
"very sad", saying he totally disagreed with violence and that "that
kind of riot is no help to solving the problem".

The Chinese embassy in the UK was shown the interview and asked for a
response, but declined to do so.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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