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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Costa Rica delays Dalai Lama visit for China president: Tibet group

August 24, 2008

August 22, 2008

SAN JOSE (AFP) - A Tibetan group said Friday that Costa Rica had
asked it to postpone a visit by the Dalai Lama to the Central
American country ahead of a trip there by Chinese Premier Hu Jintao in October.

The president of the Tibet-Costa Rica Cultural Association said
President Oscar Arias had telephoned the group to ask it to withdraw
its invitation to the Tibetan spiritual leader.

"Exactly what they said was that if the Dalai Lama comes to Costa
Rica, Hu Jintao won't come, and that's not convenient for Costa
Rica," Maritza Pacheco told journalists here.

The president's office declined to comment on the matter.

Arias said it would have been an insult to cancel the visit and that
she had written to the Dalai Lama to ask him to postpone the visit to
next year, to coincide with a Nobel Prize Winners' meeting in San Jose.

Arias said that the Dalai Lama's planned visit was private, and was
to be financed by her organization.

Costa Rica and China signed some 50 million dollars of bilateral
deals in May during a three-day visit by Chinese Vice Premier Hui
Liangyu, the highest-level Chinese official ever to visit the country.

China accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking independence for Tibet, a
Himalayan territory ruled for the last six decades by Beijing, and of
fomenting unrest to sabotage the Olympic Games currently under way.

But the 73-year-old Nobel Peace prize winner insists he wants
autonomy and religious freedom and not independence for Tibet.
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