03/14/2006, 00.00
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Beijing should let Dalai Lama visit: a win-win move

An envoy of the exiled spiritual leader called on Chinese leaders to consider his request: "It would have a calming effect on the region."

Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Beijing "should approve a request by the Dalai Lama to visit China" as it would "ease tensions in the Himalayan territory", said Tashi Wangdi on 13 March. The envoy of the exiled leader to the Americas was speaking during a Congressional hearing in the United States.

"The proposed visit by His Holiness is a win-win situation," Wangdi told a hearing of the Congressional Executive Commission on China. "The Chinese leaders should have no fear as to what might happen if such a visit is allowed, because the Dalai Lama will do nothing except bring about better understanding, harmony and friendship. The visit would have a calming effect on the situation inside Tibet. We have no doubt the whole world will welcome such a move."

The spiritual Tibetan leader, who is exiled in India, said on 10 March that he wanted to visit China.  In a statement, he said: "I have expressed a desire to make a trip to China because it is a country of ancient Buddhist traditions, where many important, sacred shrines are found, it is a place of pilgrimage which I would be happy to visit." He added: "I hope to be able to see for myself the changes and developments in the People's Republic of China."

The Dalai Lama has not been in China since he fled Tibet in 1959 in the wake of a failed revolt against the invasion of the Chinese army. After his flight, he established himself in Dharamsala, northern India, where the government and parliament in exile of the Himalayan territory have been put in place.

About independence, the Dalai Lama has confined himself to asking for "genuine autonomy" for the region. "I have only a request for genuine autonomy for all Tibetans. This request is not in contrast with the provisions of the Chinese Constitution and so it could be implemented; I also express the desire of all Tibetans, both those who live in Tibet and those who reside outside. And therefore it is legitimate, just and reasonable."

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