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Not seeking Tibet's freedom but autonomy: Dalai Lama

October 18, 2010

October 15, 2010

Dharamsala, Oct 15 (IANS) Tibetan leader the
Dalai Lama has asserted once again that he was
not seeking Tibet’s independence and said Beijing
continued to make baseless charges of separatism against him.

“It is common knowledge that I am not seeking
independence (and many Tibetans are critical of
this position) but the Chinese government
continues to label me as a splittist,” the Nobel
Peace laureate said in the US Thursday, according
to a post on the website of the Central Tibetan Administration here.

“The problems in Tibet are manmade and so
logically they can be resolved,” the Dalai Lama
said while addressing a group of Chinese students
from different academic institutions in California.

He said that in the past two years he has been
taking up issues ranging from why China should
become a responsible nation to ways to find a solution to the Tibet issue.

The spiritual leader said that even before the
Tiananmen crisis (military crackdown on
pro-democracy protests on Tiananmen Square in
1989), he had been trying to reach out to the
Chinese people but was faced with difficulty.
“Following the Tiananmen development, it was much
easier to get responses from the Chinese,” the Dalai Lama said.

“After the 2008 crisis in Tibet (when protests
against Chinese rule in Lhasa erupted into
violence which spread to other areas of western
China), more and more Chinese have started paying
attention to the Tibetan issue,” he added.

On the ongoing dialogue process with the Chinese
leadership, the Dalai Lama said: “In 2002,
contact was re-established with the Chinese
leadership but there has been no genuine progress.”

In the ninth round of talks held in January this
year, the exiles have submitted an “explanatory”
note to the Chinese leadership to clarify their
stand on autonomy. After the talks, the Chinese
said the two sides had “sharply divided views as usual”.

In response to a question from the audience, the
Dalai Lama, 75, said they could spread the real picture of Tibet to everyone.

The Dalai Lama has been following a “middle-path”
policy that seeks greater autonomy for Tibetans
rather than complete independence.

However, the Chinese view him as a hostile person
bent on splitting Tibet from China. Beijing
frowns upon meetings between Dalai Lama and foreign leaders.

The Dalai Lama, along with many of his
supporters, fled Tibet and took refuge in India
when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.
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