11/24/2008, 00.00
TIBET - CHINA
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Tibetan leaders reaffirm dialogue and peaceful means

by Nirmala Carvalho
The prime minister of the government in exile tells AsiaNews about the historic meeting. Mistrust toward the current communist leadership, but great trust in the Chinese people. The remarks of the Dalai Lama.
Dharamsala (AsiaNews) - The 581 Tibetan leaders gathered in India to plan the future of the Tibetan cause confirm the "middle way" of discussions with China for a peaceful solution to the request for greater autonomy and for protection of their culture. The congress has been dominated by the moderate approach of the government in exile, and the feared division with supporters of non-peaceful protests has been avoided. But Dolma Gyari, deputy spokesperson of the Tibetan parliament exile, expresses all of the disappointment over Beijing's insistent closure, and yesterday warned that "if China does not respond positively to our initiative, there is no other option left for us than to go for independence."

The Dalai Lama abstained from speaking during the meeting. But yesterday, at the end, he cautioned that "prudence" should be used, reiterating that he does not believe that independence is possible, and called for nonviolence and for the necessity of maintaining a "dialogue with the Chinese population." Also yesterday, the Chinese news agency Xinhua again accused him of trying to achieve independence covertly and of promoting racial hatred.

The Dalai Lama reiterated that he might not have successors: he intends to be only a spiritual leader, renouncing his political role in order to simplify relations with Beijing. Samdhong Rinpoche observes that "for now, the entire population is convinced that the existence of the Dalai Lama is necessary for Tibetan life, culture, identity, and religion."

After the week-long meeting, the prime minister of the parliament in exile, Samdhong Rinpoche, told AsiaNews that he is "extremely happy with the enthusiastic participation of all the representatives of all the grassroots people of Tibetan diasporas. Another matter of satisfaction was the majority of the participants were the younger generation of Tibetans - below 40 years, that is - Tibetans who have been born and brought up in exile, and these young Tibetans have taken a very positive role in the deliberations of the meeting. Another satisfaction was people took a sense of responsibility and participated in a frank and rational manner and there was an attitude of equality and openness among the Tibetans. Also they showed their involvement in the political affairs by showing by their overwhelming majority, the affirmation of the 'middle way' approach to be continued."

"The middle way approach is a visionary policy which has received tremendous support from the international community and world leaders. Regrettably however, the process of dialogue with the Chinese leadership has miserably failed, and this will have to be reviewed." "But our dialogue with the people of China will continue and we will be successful in that, our middle way approach will come to fruition. The Chinese leadership is not static or permanent, the leadership will go through the process of change, their policies will change - and we await a better day, a brighter future."

"We are very optimistic that the Tibetan issue will be resolved in an amicable and a peaceful way in the future. In the life of a nation, 50 years is not a long period. India herself has struggled for a long time to gain her independence. No nation can suppress another nation."

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