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Dalai Lama's envoys, China to hold talks this month

October 6, 2008

By Sindh Today (India)
October 3, 2008

Dharamsala, Oct 3 (IANS) -- Envoys of Buddhist spiritual leader the
Dalai Lama are busy chalking out strategy for the eighth round of
talks on autonomy for Tibet with the Chinese government to be held by
the end of this month.

The parleys that resumed in September 2002 have been aimed at
allowing more autonomy for the Buddhist region but so far there has
been no major breakthrough.

'The talks will certainly be held in the last week of this month, but
the exact dates will be revealed once we get final clearance from the
Chinese leadership,' Dalai Lama's spokesman Thubten Samphel told IANS Friday.

Special envoys Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, who
participated in the last round of talks in China, will again try to
tie the loose ends.

Said Samphel: 'We are keeping our fingers crossed about the outcome
of the talks. We believe in the future and not in the past. Our
ultimate hope is to settle the issue once and for all.'

The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following Chinese occupation of
Tibet. The Tibetan government-in-exile is based in this town in
Himachal Pradesh.

In recent months, the Nobel Peace Prize winner has travelled across
the world to garner support for 'meaningful autonomy' for Tibet. He
has denied China's claims that he wants independence for Tibet,
saying he only seeks greater autonomy.

'Whatever be the outcome, all Tibetans inside and outside Tibet
remain concerned. It's an issue concerning the future of Tibet,' said
Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile
which is not recognised by any country in the world.

But political observers pointed out that China asserted only last
month that it, and not the Dalai Lama, are the real guardians of
Tibet's culture and it also denounced a telephone call made by US
President George W. Bush to the Dalai Lama as interference in
Beijing's internal affairs.
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