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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Other world leaders should meet Dalai Lama: envoy (AFP)

March 15, 2010

March 12, 2010
AFP

MADRID - World leaders should follow the example of US President Barack
Obama and meet the Dalai Lama despite China's objections, the Tibetan
spiritual leader's envoy to Europe said Thursday.

"President Obama did not give in to this pressure and met with his holiness
the Dalai Lama," Kelsang Gyaltsen told reporters in Madrid after a meeting
with Spanish legislators.

"He set an example," Gyaltsen said. "Now we feel it is very important that
other members of the international community follow President Obama's
example."

He added: "The more members of the international community that adopt a
similar position, the greater the chances of having a real impact on the
thinking of the Chinese leadership."

The Dalai Lama met with Obama at the White House on February 18, leading
China to summon the US ambassador in Beijing to protest.

During the meeting, Obama "stated his strong support for the preservation of
Tibet's unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity and the
protection of human rights for Tibetans," a White House spokesman said.

The Dalai Lama, 74, who has lived in exile since 1959, wants to see greater
autonomy for Tibet within China, but Beijing accuses him of being a
separatist and vigorously protests against any high-level contacts with him.

"We have made it very clear to the Chinese side that his holiness the Dalai
Lama and the Tibetan government in exile is not seeking separation and
independence but genuine autonomy within the People's Republic of China,"
said Gyaltsen.

"All the efforts of his holiness the Dalai Lama have not been sufficient to
move the Chinese government to rethink its position on this matter so the
only alternative for the Tibetans is to appeal to members of the
international community," he added.
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