By ASHOK SHARMA
NEW DELHI, India – A representative of the Dalai Lama will visit Beijing by the end of May to discuss Tibetans’ desire for “genuine autonomy” within China, the Dalai Lama said Monday.
“There is a possibility of a mutually agreed solution,” the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of most Tibetans, told foreign journalists.
The two sides held their first meeting in nine years in September, when Chinese leadership met the Dalai Lama’s brother.
“That seems to be a good beginning,” the Dalai Lama said. “We are not seeking independence. We have to live side by side. That’s the reality.
“We are seeking genuine autonomy.”
China occupied Tibet in 1950, citing historical claims to the territory. The Dalai Lama fled Tibet after a failed 1959 revolt against Chinese rule and set up a government-in-exile in the northern Indian mountain town of Dharmsala. He was followed by more than 120,000 Tibetan refugees.
On Monday, the Dalai Lama said he was satisfied with American policy concerning the Tibetan issue.
“The U.S. administration is still showing keen interest in the Tibetan problem. Washington pursues the issue with China whenever their officials meet,” he said.
U.S. officials have said the Bush administration supports “the preservation of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity and the protection of human rights of all Tibetans.”