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Dalai Lama refuses to comment on ongoing Tibetan conclave

November 23, 2008

Asian News International
November 20, 2008

Dharamsala, Nov 20 (ANI) -- Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama
on Thursday refused to comment on the ongoing Tibetan meeting in
Dharamsala, saying that it might become a hindrance in the free
expression of Tibetans.

Hundreds of prominent members of the community in exile are attending
a conclave in Dharamsala called by their spiritual leader to discuss
the future of the Tibetan people and debate how to advance their cause.

The Dalai Lama is not attending the week-long meeting, as he
reportedly wants to give Tibetan people an opportunity to express their views.

Speaking elsewhere at a function in the hill town, seat of Tibetan
government in-exile, on Thursday, the Dalai Lama called for
rejuvenating Buddhism in Tibet being ruled by communist China.

"Till Buddha Dharma reaches Tibet in spite that Tibet dark. Once
Buddhism reach there, then all those darkness disappear and become
bright. So that's very true," said Dalai Lama.

Later responding to reporters' queries, the Dalai Lama refused to
comment about the ongoing Tibetan conclave in the town and also on
the future of relations with the Chinese government.

"I have made very clear now it's up to people. So if I mentioned
something then that may become hindrance of their free expression. So
therefore for the time being I remain complete silent," he said.

The Tibetan conclave, taking place seven months after riots across
Tibet left one hundred people dead, according to activists, entered
fourth day of its deliberations on Thursday.

The special meeting is likely to see a change to the settled policy
of the Tibetan spiritual leader since the Dalai Lama dropped his call
for Tibetan independence in 1979 after China's then leader, Deng
Xiaoping, offered talks in return.

On Tuesday, Tibetan Prime Minister in-exile had said that Tibetans
would push for independence from China if the conclave decided that
is their only option.

Analysts say the meeting may be an attempt to persuade the Chinese
that if they don't compromise, more radical elements will surface
against China's rule.

China this month rejected demands for autonomy during talks between
Chinese officials and the Dalai Lama's envoys.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, who fled into exile in 1959 after an
unsuccessful uprising, recently hinted that his push for an
autonomous Tibet had failed.

Speculation has grown that he wants to step back from day-to-day
political leadership.

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