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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 'always ready to go back to Tibet'

September 4, 2009

(AFP) - September 3, 2009

TAIPEI - The Dalai Lama said Friday that he was "always ready to go back to
Tibet," at the end of a five-day visit to Taiwan which has angered China.

"We are always ready to go back to Tibet. Of course, every Tibetan always
thinks that way," he told reporters as he arrived at the Taoyuan
International Airport outside Taipei, preparing to leave Taiwan.

The 74-year-old exiled Tibetan spiritual leader was responding to a question
from AFP on whether he thought he would ever be able to return to his
Himalayan homeland.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet half a century ago after a failed uprising against
Chinese rule and has lived in exile ever since.

Representatives of the Dalai Lama have held occasional talks with Chinese
officials, most recently in November, but little progress appears to have
been made.

He has said he wants "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet but China argues he is
seeking full independence and is engaging in "separatist" actions in the
region. The Dalai Lama denies the claim.

The Dalai Lama's trip to Taiwan has triggered strong reactions from China,
although he has said that the tour was mainly to comfort victims of Typhoon
Morakot, which lashed the island last month, killing more than 600 people.

China claims Taiwan as its own although the island has governed itself for
six decades.
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