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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."

Dalai Lama envoy says China lying to Obama

March 29, 2009

March 25, 2009

WASHINGTON (AFP) -- The Dalai Lama's chief
negotiator said Wednesday that China lied to
President Barack Obama on Tibet and said the
spiritual leader would set the record straight when he visits the White House.

Obama, meeting this month with China's top
diplomat, nudged Beijing gently over its
treatment of Tibet and voiced hope for a renewal
of talks with the Dalai Lama's representatives which broke down in November.

But Lodi Gyari, the chief envoy of Tibet's exiled
leader, said Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told
Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
"absolutely, totally baseless lies about the proposal I submitted."

He said that China falsely claimed that Tibet's
exiled leadership was seeking independence or the
expulsion of Han Chinese from the region.

"Did we make a demand that all non-Tibetans be
expelled from the plateau of Tibet? Never. In
this day and age? We are not that stupid," Gyari
told a forum at the Heritage Foundation think tank.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India 50 years ago
this month as China crushed a failed uprising against its rule.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, who has gone on to
win the Nobel Peace Prize, denies China's
frequent accusations he is a separatist and says
he is merely seeking greater freedoms for Tibetans under Chinese rule.

Gyari expected the Dalai Lama to stay consistent
advocating non-violence and a "middle way" of autonomy.

"When he comes to Washington to meet with the
president, I don't think His Holiness would have a new message," Gyari said.

The Dalai Lama's supporters say he is planning a
visit to the United States in the coming months although no firm date is set.

China regularly denounces foreign leaders who
meet with the Dalai Lama, but every US president
has met him since President George H.W. Bush in 1991.

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