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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?"

Dalai Lama aide dismisses reported Beijing protest

August 23, 2010

Agence France-Presse (AFP)
August 21, 2010

DHARAMSHALA, India -- An aide to the Dalai Lama
dismissed on Saturday reported criticism by China
of a meeting between the Tibetan spiritual leader and India's prime minister.

The Dalai Lama made a "routine call" on Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi last week,
Tempa Tsering, the Dalai Lama's senior aide, told AFP.

"There was nothing unusual about the meeting," Tsering said.

Tsering's statement came after the newspaper The
Indian Express reported that China had objected
to the August 11 meeting through diplomatic channels.

China, which considers the Dalai Lama a
"splittist" despite his repeated calls for
autonomy rather than independence for Tibet, has
been increasingly vocal in demanding that world
leaders refuse to meet the Buddhist leader.

"The Chinese are always upset whatever His Holiness does," said Tsering.

An Indian foreign ministry spokesman said he
could not comment on the reported objections by Beijing.

But foreign minister S.M. Krishna, in an apparent
effort to allay Chinese worries, noted the Dalai
Lama is "a spiritual leader and we do not
encourage anyone to get into political activities
which will effect the relations between the two countries".

Tsering said the meeting was the first between
the Dalai Lama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
since the Congress-led government returned to power last year.

He said the two men had previously met about two years ago.

Indo-Chinese relations have become more prickly
in recent times over such issues as trade and
their disputed Himalayan border -- the trigger for a brief, bloody war in 1962.

The meeting with Singh came after India's foreign
secretary Nirupama Rao, the most senior civil
servant in the Indian foreign ministry, held
talks with the Dalai Lama in the northern Indian
hill station of Dharamshala in July.

Both sides refused to comment on those talks.

Dharamshala has been home to the Tibetan
government-in-exile since the Dalai Lama fled to
India more than half a century ago after China crushed an uprising in Tibet.

China has in the past accused the Dalai Lama of
seeking to stir up tensions between New Delhi and Beijing.

Last year, the Dalai Lama made a visit to a
Buddhist region near India's disputed Himalayan
border with Tibet, infuriating China, which
called it an attempt to destabilise Indo-Chinese ties.
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