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Talks with China have failed: Dalai Lama


Dharamsala : The Dalai Lama Monday said talks with the Chinese leadership over allowing more autonomy for the Buddhist region in Tibet had so far failed, officials of the Tibetan government-in-exile said here.

The spiritual guru, who is on a week-long visit to Japan, was addressing reporters in Tokyo, the officials said.

The Dalai Lama reached Japan Oct 31 where he will deliver a two-day lecture series on spirituality, beginning Tuesday.

“Things are not going well… I have to accept failure,” the 73-year-old Tibetan leader told the press conference.

“My trust with the Chinese leadership (is) now thinner, thinner, thinner.”

The officials pointed out the Dalai Lama’s assertion at this point in time when his envoys have reached Beijing for the next round of negotiations amid growing concern among the Tibetan exiles regarding the settlement of the issue concerning the welfare of six million Tibetans in the near future.

According to the officials, the Dalai Lama was planning “to remain silent ahead of a special session of Tibetan exiles later this month to discuss the future of the exiles”.

The Nobel laureate said at a function in this north Indian hill station last month that he had “lost hope of reaching an agreement with the present Chinese leadership”.

The parleys between the Dalai Lama’s envoys and the Chinese leadership resumed in September 2002 but so far no major breakthrough has been achieved.

For the past five decades, the Dalai Lama has been following a “middle-path” policy that demands “greater autonomy” for Tibetans, rather than complete independence.

But many radicals, particularly the youth, still believe that Tibet was an independent nation before Communist troops invaded it in 1950 and they are demanding complete independence.

The government-in-exile, on the advice of the Dalai Lama, has already called the special six-day session of the exiles at McLeodganj near here from Nov 17 to discuss the future of the Tibetan movement.

The special session, which will open with the address of the spiritual leader, would be attended by Tibetan leaders, intellectuals, radicals, ethnic groups and others.

The officials said the session could become a turning point as different factions would air their views over the exile movement.

Tenzin Taklha, joint secretary at the Dalai Lama’s office, earlier admitted that “since we (government-in-exile) believe in democracy, during the special session we will even listen to the views of the radicals. All options left with us would be mulled and then finally a consensus would emerge”.

Thubten Samphel, a spokesperson for the government-in-exile, however, refused to comment on the Dalai Lama’s assertions in Japan.

“I am not able to comment on the issue right now. We have to wait till the return of the envoys from China regarding the progress in the talks,” he said.

The Dalai Lama along with many of his supporters fled Tibet and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.

The Dalai Lama has ever since been heading the government-in-exile from here.