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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

China Criticizes Dalai Lama Over Tibet Talks

November 6, 2008

By SHAI OSTER, Wall Street Journal, November 5, 2008

BEIJING -- China harshly criticized the Dalai Lama for his recent 
comments expressing disappointment over negotiations with Beijing, 
further overshadowing the latest round of the talks.

In a commentary published on Tuesday in China's state-controlled 
media, the government said that by "stressing his 'disappointment' 
over the contacts and negotiations, the Dalai Lama deliberately 
adopted a pathetic posture only in an attempt to draw public attention 
and sympathy."

The new commentary repeated Beijing's allegations that the Dalai Lama, 
who has lived in India since 1959, was orchestrating a campaign for 
Tibetan independence and that he instigated violent antigovernment 
protests in March -- accusations he has denied.

"For the Dalai Lama, it is futile to play mean tricks and try to turn 
back the wheel of history," the statement said.

The commentary was the first official response to recent statements by 
the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader that talks with Chinese officials 
had failed to achieve greater autonomy for the Himalayan region's 
religious and cultural practices. Envoys of the Dalai Lama have been 
in Beijing since last week for the new round of negotiations, though 
the current status of those talks is unclear.

During a trip in Japan this week, the Dalai Lama told reporters that 
the talks had failed and that he would be taking a back seat in any 
future negotiations. He has long called for a "middle way" of greater 
autonomy that would allow Tibetans to practice their culture and 
religion freely while remaining under Chinese rule. But the growing 
frustration with stalled negotiations and continued repression has fed 
calls from younger Tibetans living in exile for more radical 
approaches, including independence.

Write to Shai Oster at shai.oster@wsj.com
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