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China quake relief may delay talks

June 7, 2008

Press Trust of India (PTI)
June 5, 2008

The next round of talks between envoys of Tibetan spiritual leader
Dalai Lama and China, scheduled for June 11, might be postponed
because of Beijing's preoccupation with relief efforts for earthquake
victims, an aide to the Lama said on Wednesday.

"China has expressed difficulties in holding talks on June 11 because
of the massive earthquake in that country," Tenzing Takhla, secretary
to the Dalai Lama, told PTI.

"Though June 11 has yet not been fully ruled out, we are working on
alternate dates too," he added.

Takhla said that the date for the second round of talks, between
envoys of the Dalai Lama and Chinese officials, was decided much
before the earthquake had happened.

Asked if the alternative dates would be within June, he merely said,
"We are working out on it."

The Dalai Lama's envoys Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen had
held meetings with Chinese officials in Shenzen on May 4, in the wake
of violent protests in Lhasa and other provinces of Tibet in March.

Though not much headway had been made in that round of talks, the two
sides had decided to talk again.

While China had asked the Dalai Lama to stop 'instigating' violent
protests in Tibet, the envoys of the Tibetan spiritual leader had
categorically denied the charge and called for steps for restoration
of peace there.
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