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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?"

Tibet govt-in-exile welcomes China talks, memo stays

March 16, 2009

Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:34am IST

By Abhishek Madhukar

DHARAMSALA, India (Reuters) - The Tibetan government-in-exile welcomed
China's willingness for more talks with its envoys, but reiterated the
conditions outlined in its last memorandum to Beijing.

"His Holiness the Dalai Lama is always ready to engage with the Chinese
leadership to find a mutually acceptable solution to the problems of the
Tibetan people," Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the Tibetan
government-in-exile, said in a statement issued late on Saturday.

A memorandum of "genuine autonomy" for Tibet was presented to Beijing
last October during the eighth round of talks with China.

"The Memorandum clearly outlines the aspirations of the Tibetan people
strictly within the constitutional principles of the People's Republic
of China. Premier Wen Jiabao appears to be trying to avoid acknowledging
this document," the statement said.

Chinese officials and envoys of the Dalai Lama -- branded by Beijing as
"splittist" -- have held several rounds of talks, but little of
substance has been achieved.

Wen said on Friday that China was open to more talks with envoys for the
Dalai Lama as long as the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader renounces what
Beijing describes as separatism.

The Dalai Lama marked March 10, the 50th anniversary of a failed
uprising against Chinese rule, with a speech calling for "meaningful
autonomy" for Tibet in the north Indian town of Dharamsala, seat of the
Tibetan government-in-exile.

The latest statement reiterated that the Dalai Lama is not seeking
separation. Thubten Samphel, a spokesman, added they would not negotiate
on their core demands.

"These are our core demands. We will not dilute them, we will not climb
down," he said.
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