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Special Envoy Fears Possible Violence if Talks Fail

October 9, 2008

October 8, 2008

Dharamshala, Oct. 8 - The Dalai Lama's Special Envoy has warned that
failure of talks with China could lead to future violence, reports
Voice of America.

The eighth round of talks on the situation in Tibet is expected to
happen later this month. But the Dalai Lama's Special Envoy who also
heads the Tibetan delegation for talks with China fears that 'the
lack of progress from this dialogue - which started in 2002 - is
turning some Tibetans away from engagement'.

Gyari was speaking at the Asia Society in New York Tuesday evening.
The Tibetan diplomat said if the 'issue of Tibet's future is not
resolved before the Dalai Lama's demise, then he fears some Tibetans
might opt for violence in his absence.'

"If the issue is not resolved, then I'm afraid a section of the
Tibetans will resort into violence. Would we win? Most probably not.
And in the end we will suffer more. But it is a reality. And in fact,
you know, the major contributing factor to that kind of situation is
the Chinese policy," VOA reported Gyari as saying.

Part of the Dalai Lama's approach has been his willingness to say he
would consider accepting a Communist party role and socialism in
Tibetan areas. An idea that Gyari says is not necessarily popular
among Tibetans because they have suffered under communism, VOA reported.

"But when His Holiness makes such a pronouncement there is not strong
opposition to that. This clearly shows how strong, how deep the
reverence [is for the Dalai Lama] - this is precisely what I was
trying to say earlier, if the Chinese want to find a solution, this
is the time, because they have a person they can deal with," he said.

The Dalai Lama repeatedly says he is seeking a genuine autonomy for
Tibet, not independence, an assurance the Chinese want him to prove.

Beijing Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said Tuesday what's
imperative is that the Dalai Lama take concrete actions to respond to
the central government's requests and create conditions for contact and talks.

Neither side would say exactly when the eighth round of dialogue
would take place.

Gyari said the Chinese have agreed to receive from the Tibetan side a
set of ideas on how the Tibetan side sees autonomy and what kind of
autonomy rights it is talking about. He was responding to a question
about progress at the earlier meeting. He said he expects Beijing
will have a serious discussion on these issues with his side when
they present their list. Gyari says it is with that kind of optimism
the Tibetan side is going to proceed to the next round of talks.
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