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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."

Sino-Tibetan Conference encourages “people-to-people” dialogue

September 1, 2014

August 30, 2014 - With over 70 representatives from 15 countries, the "Finding Common Ground" Sino-Tibetan Conference in this north German port city of Hamburg has concluded with support for dialogue between the Chinese government and the Tibetan government-in-exile to end the current impasse.

The conference took place Aug 26-28 and was attended by Tibetan Spiritual leader, The Dalai Lama, and participants from China the US and Australia, as also Europe. The conference was convened by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) based in Dharmshala, India with the aim of setting in motion a process of exchange, interaction, cooperation and joint efforts between Tibetan and Chinese stakeholders in the pursuit of a peace and a fair resolution to the Tibet issue.

The Dalai Lama met the participants of the conference and made clear that he had always encouraged Tibetans to reach out to their Chinese brothers and sisters.

"I give special attention to contacts between the Chinese and Tibetan people and strongly support it. In the 1950s, I had expressed my wish to go to Mount Wutai Shan for a pilgrimage which has not yet materialised, but I still have the desire to go there for a pilgrimage", the Dalai Lama said during the meeting.

Wu Tai Shan is a sacred mountain in China for Buddhists.

"President Xi Jinping said that Buddhism has an important role to play in reviving Chinese culture. Being a Buddhist I can definitely make my contribution to this," the Dalai Lama added.

The meeting was was presided by Kalon Dicki Chhoyang, Head of Department for Information and International Relations of the CTA, who elaborated on the basic features of the Umaylam - the Middle Way Approach - adopted democratically by the Tibetan people as a policy in seeking a peaceful resolution of the issue of Tibet.

In his keynote address, Lobsang Sangay, the democratically-elected Tibetan political leader, stressed that "in the long history of peaceful and harmonious relations between Tibet and China, the present tragic state of affairs represents an aberration and exception.

This aberration is the consequence of the military occupation of Tibet. Chinese participants expressed their respect and appreciation for Tibetan culture as well as for the Dalai Lama.

The participants said that the efforts for the Sino-Tibetan people-to-people dialogue should not be limited to the political sphere, but also include areas of religion, culture and arts and the issue of Tibet should have relevance to the future of Chinese and Tibetan people alike. They expressed grave concerns about the serious human rights violations in Tibet and the deteriorating legal system, democratic development and human rights situation in China.

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