01/24/2007, 00.00
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Tibet’s government-in-exile still hopeful of an amicable solution with Beijing

Tibet’s Prime Minister-in-exile reaffirms that dialogue is the only means to deal with China but warns that it can no longer ask the population to remain calm. The Dalai Lama announces that his reincarnation will only have spiritual role.

Dharamsala (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Tibet’s Prime Minister-in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche said he remains hopeful that an amicable solution to Tibetan autonomy is possible, despite China's stand against it.

“In the past,” he added, “we have asked the Tibetan people not to annoy the PRC (Peoples' Republic of China) by [engaging in] propaganda or campaigns against them. Unfortunately since last year the PRC has not cared for our actions and they have attacked his Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Under such circumstances, we are not able to ask the Tibetan people to keep quite.”

In any event, this shift, he added, “does not change out policy which is based on dialogue. We hope to renew bilateral talks with China and find a solution to the issue.”

Parallel to this development, the Dalai Lama announced that his next reincarnation “might not have any political import in the region”.

Tibet’s 14th “god-king” explained that “in 2001 a political leadership was democratically elected whose task will be to lead the Tibetan Diaspora and those fellow countrymen still in the homeland. Perhaps the next Dalai Lama will only be a spiritual leader”.

This way all attempts by China to sway the election of the new Dalai Lama will be moot. Beijing, after appointing its own new Panchen Lama (the second most important office in Buddhism) and seizing the legitimate one, announced in July 2005 that the local government in Tibet would recognise the new Dalai Lama.

China has claimed that its decades-long occupation of Tibet represents liberation, that it saved Tibetans from feudal oppression.

Beijing formally set up 1965 an Autonomous Tibetan Region, an entity the Dalai Lama has dismissed as having no real autonomy from the central government.

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