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Skip Tibet meeting, China urges Buthelezi

November 15, 2009

iol.co.za / Sapa
November 12 2009

The Chinese government is trying to persuade IFP
leader Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi not to attend a
summit of world leaders in Rome to discuss
China's rule of Tibet, Ilanga newspaper reported on Thursday.

The paper reported that China's Consul General,
Liu Yantao recently wrote a letter to Buthelezi
asking him not to take part in the summit
scheduled to take place later this month.

Buthelezi, who is a friend of exiled Buddhist
political and spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama,
has refused to turn down the invitation, the paper reported.

Attempts to persuade the South African government
to block Buthelezi also failed as government told
the Chinese that South Africa is a democratic
country which allowed its citizens to travel anywhere as they wished.

Relations between the Chinese government and the
Dalai Lama and his followers are very sour.

Anti-Chinese protests broke out in Tibet on March
10 in 2008 on the 49th anniversary of an abortive
1959 uprising against Chinese rule.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959.

Yantao and Buthelezi were not immediately available to comment.
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