China hopes for ‘positive’ talks with Dalai Lama envoys


Beijing : Chinese President Hu Jintao said Sunday he hoped for a positive outcome as talks were about to get under way between the Chinese government and envoys of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in the southern Chinese city of Shenzen.

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“I hope the contacts will yield a positive outcome,” Hu told Japanese reporters in Beijing, according to Japan’s Kyodo news agency.

He also hoped that the Dalai Lama and his followers would “show through action” that they had “stopped separatist activities” and “agitation and violence” to create conditions for further dialogue.

On Saturday a senior aide of Samdhong Rimpoche, Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile based in the north Indian hill-town of Dharamsala, had said the talks would go on.

Tenzin Taklha, spokesman for Dalai Lama, confirmed that special envoys Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen were in China.

An earlier statement by the Dalai Lama’s office had said envoys would take up the “urgent issue of the current crisis in the Tibetan areas” after anti-China protests erupted there in March.

“They will convey His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s deep concerns about the Chinese authorities’ handling of the situation and also provide suggestions to bring peace to the region,” the statement said.

The talks – the first since the March 14 protests in Tibet and other Tibetan inhabited regions in neighbouring provinces – went ahead as Chinese media again hit out against the Dalai Lama.

The Tibetan spiritual leader was once more branded a “criminal” by Xizang Ribao newspaper, which accused the “Dalai clique” of urging Tibetans to take part in the protests

The violence left 19 people dead, according to the Chinese government. However, the Tibetan government-in-exile said 203 people have been killed, most of them Tibetans shot by Chinese police.

On Friday last week, China had announced it would take up a dialogue with representatives of Tibet’s spiritual leader and said it was ready to talk about everything except sovereignty over Tibet.

Since 2002 the Chinese government has engaged in six rounds of dialogue with representatives of the Dalai Lama, however no progress was reported. The last round was held in June 2007.