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No further talks with China: Tibet meet

November 24, 2008

Times of India
November 22, 2008

DHARAMSALA -- A special meeting of Tibetans in exile here Saturday
decided that no further talks would be held with China over the Tibet
issue unless Beijing "responds positively" to their demands.

While "unanimously" reaffirming faith in the Dalai Lama, the meet
threatened to "go for complete independence and self-determination"
if the supreme Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader's middle path
approach failed in the long run.

"The meeting has told the Kashag (Tibetan cabinet-in-exile) that
there is no use of continuing the talks. The Chinese side has not
accepted any of our demands," Karma Choephel, speaker of the Tibetan
parliament-in-exile, told reporters.

The six-day meeting saw nearly 600 Tibetan leaders converge to decide
the future course of the Tibetan struggle. The recommendations of the
meeting will be sent to the Dalai Lama for approval.

"We will not send the envoys of the Dalai Lama for further talks
until China responds positively. If China does not respond, we will
have no option but to go for complete independence and
self-determination," Dolma Gyari, the deputy speaker of the Tibetan
parliament-in-exile, said.

China has not acceded to any of the demands of the Tibetans,
including negotiations over giving them "genuine autonomy", allowing
the exiled Tibetans to return to their homeland and protecting their
race, religion, culture and language.

Sending a strong message to China, the meeting decided that the
middle path policy would continue for the time being but if no
results were achieved, they would be forced to change the policy for
complete independence.

"We will opt for complete independence and self-determination. But
whatever the policy, it will be completely non-violent," Choephel said.

The meeting objected to China's stand that the Dalai Lama did not
represent Tibetans living inside Tibet.

"Our envoys challenged the Chinese side in the 8th round of talks
(early November) to hold a referendum inside Tibet to know if the
Dalai Lama was their leader or not," the speaker said.

The resolution at the meeting asked the Chinese leadership not to
criticise the Dalai Lama unnecessarily as he was revered by millions
of Buddhists and the feelings of all were being hurt.

The meeting squarely blamed China for the failure of the latest round
of talks, saying the country had rejected the memorandum for genuine
autonomy submitted by the Dalai Lama's envoys.

Regarding the uprising in various parts of Tibet in March this year,
the meeting noted that "this was owing to the 49 years of misrule of
China and its wrong policies". The meeting termed the Chinese
government as a repressive regime under which even the Chinese people
were suffering.

Taking strong note of a new Chinese order under which reincarnations
of various Lamas (monks) would have to seek approval from the Chinese
authorities before being officially recognised, the meeting said the
move was aimed at installing "puppet Lamas" and denounced it.
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