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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Tibet's PM in exile says talks with China 'frustrating'

December 15, 2009

Stephanie March, Australia Network News
Last Updated: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 16:52:00 +1100

The leader of Tibet's government in exile, Samdhong Rinpoche has urged
Australia to lobby China on its behalf.

Professor Samdhong Rinpoche fled Tibet 50 years ago.

Since his election in 2001 as Prime Minister of the Tibetan community in
exile, he has dedicated his time in office to bringing the Chinese and
Tibetan leaders back to negotiations that broke down in 1993.

Professor Rinpoche spoke to Radio Australia during a recent visit to
Melbourne to attend the Parliament of World Religions.

He told the Connect Asia program he believes the Australian can be a
stronger advocate for Tibet with China.

"Since Australia has a good relation with (the People's Republic of
China) they can use their good offices for educating and persuading the
PRC leadership to consider the Tibet issue more seriously and find some
solution," he said.
'A very sad affair'

He laments the what he sees as economic interests taking precedence over
morality and a commitment to human rights.

"In the process of globalisation of economy and trade most of the
governments and multinational companies are ready to compromise the
human rights issue and the issue of justice. This is a very sad affair,"
he said.

In March 2008, Tibet was thrown into chaos when demonstrations marking
the 49th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule turned
violent.

The violence lasted several days and spread to other parts of China with
Tibetan populations.

China acknowledges at least 10 people were killed, but rights groups say
the real toll was probably much higher, after Tibetans and Chinese
police clashed on the streets of the regional capital Lhasa.

Samdhong Professor Rinpoche says since then, peaceful protests and
demonstrations have continued, and the conditions remain tense.

"The PRC leadership is using very brutal and repressive forces, and
everywhere the presence of military is overwhelming, and then the
sentences - including the death sentences - passed on various people in
detention since last year are very drastic," he said.

Professor Rinpoche says he's managed to restore communication with
Chinese authorities, and eight formal dialogue sessions have been held,
though they have yet to yield concrete results.

"The experience of dialogue process was rather frustrating and
difficult," he said.

However he says each session gives the Tibetans a chance to "clarify our
position more specifically, and we are also able to understand the
mindset of the PRC leadership."
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