M A I N   N E W S

Tibet tide
Dalai Lama ready for talks
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

McLeodganj, March 20
The Dalai Lama has said that he was willing to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao and other leaders for a dialogue to resolve the Tibet issue. He announced this in a hurriedly called press conference here today.

He reiterated that he was not seeking separation of Tibet from China. He, however, said he would not go to Beijing for talks until there was a concrete assurance for solving the issue peacefully. The Chinese authorities had earlier said that they would talk with the Dalai Lama if he stopped separatist activities and recognised Tibet and Taiwan as parts of China.

“The whole world knows that I am not seeking independence. I have repeated this a thousand times. It is my mantra: We are not seeking independence,” he replied to the question of a western journalist.

The Chinese and Tibetan authorities had met six times in the past for discussing the problem, but without much success. The last such meeting was in June last year.

Meanwhile, the five-member solidarity committee constituted by the Tibetan government-in-exile to coordinate protests held a meting with NGOs of their community and appealed them to stop individual protests so that these could be streamlined and held in a coordinated and peaceful way. The committee announced it supported all peaceful protests inside and outside Tibet.

Meanwhile, the Return March to Tibet by a group of Tibetans continued and reached near Ropar in Punjab. The group was expected to return by tomorrow evening following the call of the solidarity committee to withdraw all individual agitations.



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