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Canada Tibet Committee President Responds to Dalai Lama's Statement from Washington

November 10, 1998

Montreal: "We are very pleased with the statement His Holiness issued today," said Thubten Samdup, president of the Canada Tibet Committee, and former representative, from 1991 to 1996, of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile.

The Dalai Lama announced in Washington this afternoon, following his meeting with President Clinton, that he was encouraged by Clinton's recent discussion with China's president Jiang Zemin regarding the Tibetan issue, and that he did not wish to make a unilateral statement without informal consultation with the Chinese government. The announcement followed speculation in the media, and apprehension in the Tibetan refugee community, that the Dalai Lama would make a proclamation of a radical policy change regarding Tibet-China relations, abandoning Tibet's struggle for independence.

"The statement reinforces his previous position, which he has maintained since the 1970's," Samdup said. "It is best for the Chinese government to engage in dialogue with Tibet. Without both sides talking, nothing will be achieved."

Media Contact: Elaine Arshinoff, (514)489-0186

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