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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?"

China changes tack, says Dalai Lama trying to wreck India ties

November 6, 2009

November 3, 2009

Beijing/New Delhi (IANS) -- In a subtle shift of
stance, China Tuesday accused Tibetan spiritual
leader the Dalai Lama of trying to "wreck"
Sino-Indian ties by his proposed visit to
Arunachal Pradesh, but refrained from condemning
New Delhi for allowing the trip.

The Dalai Lama is planning to visit the
northeastern Indian state, over which Beijing claims sovereignty, Nov 8.

China has repeatedly criticized the trip and asked India to stop it.

China's foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu
Tuesday flayed the Dalai Lama for his "separatist" activities.

"The Dalai Lama often lies and often engages in
acts to sabotage China's relations with other countries," said Ma.

"I am confident that his scheme to wreck China's
relations with the relevant country will come to nothing," he said.

Ma went on to say that last month Chinese Prime
Minister Wen Jiabao and his Indian counterpart
Manmohan Singh had agreed to focus on promoting "healthy and stable relations".

"We hope that each side will continue striving to
make strides in that direction," said Ma.

A government source said in New Delhi: "We have
made our position clear. The Dalai Lama, as prime
minister has said, can go anywhere in India,
provided he does not indulge in political activities."

Wen and Manmohan Singh met for formal talks on
the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in the Thai
resort of Hua Hin Oct 24. They discussed the
Dalai Lama's trip during a dinner hosted by the Thai prime minister.

A day after the meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh told journalists that the Dalai Lama is "an honoured guest" of India.

Manmohan Singh said he was not aware of the
travel plans of the Dalai Lama, who has lived in
India since fleeing his Tibetan homeland in 1959,
but had explained to the Chinese leadership India's position.

"I explained to Premier Wen that the Dalai Lama
is our honoured guest. He is a religious leader," Manmohan Singh said.

"(But) we do not allow Tibetan refugees to
indulge in political activities. As a proof of
that, last year we took resolute action at the
time of Olympics when there were reports that
some Tibetan refugees might disrupt (the Olympic torch relay)."

China's reiteration of its opposition to Dalai
Lama's Arunachal Pradesh trip comes at a time
when both countries are trying to keep relations
on an even keel after mutual recriminations over
a host of issues, including reported Chinese
incursions, Beijing's repeated assertions of its
claims over Arunachal Pradesh and China's plan
for new projects in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
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