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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 appeals to China on drying Tibet rivers

November 20, 2009

November 18, 2009

ROME, Nov 18 (Reuters) -- The Dalai Lama on
Wednesday appealed to China to take action to
stop Tibet's glaciers melting, saying the
environmental crisis was more urgent than a
political solution over Tibet's future.

Attending a U.N. summit on global hunger in Rome,
the exiled Buddhist leader warned rivers from
Tibet's glaciers and snow-covered mountains may
dry up in 15 to 20 years and asked China to study
the problem together with Tibetan experts.

"A political solution (for Tibet) may take time,
but that's okay, we can wait," the Dalai Lama told reporters.

"But damaging the ecology, year by year, is
happening, so we really need serious studies and
to make a plan to protect the environment. That is very, very important."

The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the source of many
of Asia's great rivers including the Yangtze and the Mekong.

Chinese officials and envoys of the Dalai Lama
have recently held eight rounds of talks over the
future of Tibet but little of substance has been achieved.

The Dalai Lama, dubbed a separatist by Beijing,
says he is merely seeking autonomy for his
homeland, which last year erupted in riots and
protests against the Chinese presence. (Reporting
by Gavin Jones, Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
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