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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."

Not seeking independence despite past history: Dalai Lama tells Al Jazeera

November 13, 2017

By Tenzin Dharpo

Phayul, November 8, 2017 - “We are not seeking independence, separation,” from China, Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, reiterating his stand on the Tibetan struggle in an video interview with Al Jazeera on Tuesday.

The 82 year old said that the Tibetan people are willing to stay within the People’s Republic of China provided Beijing honors its own constitution and provides necessary rights.

“We respect Chinese people, historical and cultured, hardworking people. Now today, as matter of fact, it is the most populated nation and for over 2000 years, China and Tibet had very close relationship through marriage. We are not seeing independence, separation, (from China) in spite of past history, we always look at today’s reality and I am one of the person who really admire spirit of European Union” he said on the sidelines of a conference participated by youth leaders from conflict zones.

“We are very much committed to remain within People’s Republic of China, provided they should give us certain right, mentioned in Chinese constitution, should be implemented fully on spot. So we usually call the Middle Way Approach, not seeking separation but not satisfied with existing policy or situation,” he further added.

Responding to questions on why China still sees him as an enemy, he said, “For me personally that is nothing serious. When sometime back, some Chinese officials describe me as demon. So on one occasion, a reporter asked me, what is my reaction. I replied ‘yes I am demon, with horns.’ Then sometimes I jokingly say that my horns seem to be growing longer and longer.”

The ‘Middle Way Approach’, the official stand of the exile Tibetan government (known also as the Central Tibetan Administration) repudiates the status quo of Tibet under China while seeking genuine autonomy for Tibet under the framework of the PRC. While the approach has been encouraged and supported by many governments including the United States and the European Union, it is rejected by Beijing.

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