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Tibet holds talks with China

November 6, 2008

Nov 5, 2008

DHARAMSHALA (India) - ENVOYS of the Dalai Lama ended two days of talks 
on Wednesday with Chinese officials on the future of Tibet, even as 
their spiritual leader said he saw no hope in the dialogue with Beijing.

Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, Kelsang Gyaltsen and three aides left for Beijing 
on Oct 30 but only began formal discussions on Tuesday, said an 
official with the Tibetan government-in-exile who asked not to be named.

'The talks were for two days. They began yesterday morning,' said an 
aide in the office of exiled prime minister Samdhong Rinpoche.

The envoys were soon due back in Dharamshala - the Indian hill town 
seat of the government in exile - from what was the eighth round of a 
long-running dialogue with China.

During their visit, the envoys were taken to the Muslim autonomous 
region of Ningxia by Chinese authorities in order to demonstrate 
Beijing's handling of minority concerns, said the exiled 
administration's spokesman Thubten Samphel.

The talks came as the Dalai Lama made clear that he had all but given 
up on the possibility of reaching a mutually acceptable solution to 
the Tibet issue with the current Beijing administration.

'My trust in the Chinese government has become thinner, thinner, 
thinner,' the Tibetan leader told reporters on Monday during a trip to 
Japan.

'I have to accept failure,' he added.

The Dalai Lama has long championed a 'middle path' policy with China 
which espouses 'meaningful autonomy' for Tibet, rather than the full 
independence for the remote Himalayan region that many younger, more 
radical activists demand.

The future of that policy will be the focus of a special meeting in 
Dharamshala next month of around 300 delegates representing the 
worldwide exiled Tibetan community.

The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India in 1959 following a failed 
uprising in Tibet against Chinese rule. -- AFP
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