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Dalai Lama envoy eyes reaching out to Chinese people
Reuters[Wednesday, May 20, 2009 18:07]

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, speaks at the "Wisdom and Compassion for Challenging Times" event in New York May 3, 2009. (REUTERS/Eric Thayer)
Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, speaks at the "Wisdom and Compassion for Challenging Times" event in New York May 3, 2009. (REUTERS/Eric Thayer)
TOKYO - Envoys of the Dalai Lama are seeking to reach out directly to the Chinese people after talks on Tibet between Beijing and the envoys reached deadlock, an envoy of the exiled spiritual leader said on Wednesday.

The last round of talks between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama's envoys failed in November when Chinese officials rejected their calls for "high-level autonomy" for Tibet.

"Unfortunately, so far, there has been no signal from the government in Beijing that they are ready to resume the dialogue," Kelsang Gyaltsen, the Dalai Lama's envoy, told a news conference in Tokyo, which he is visiting to meet supporters of the 1989 Nobel Peace laureate.

"So against this background, the position of his holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan leadership in exile is, while we remain ready to engage in serious discussions with the Chinese government ... we will intensify our approach in reaching out to the Chinese people."

They are trying to form Sino-Tibetan friendship associations as well as publishing more in the Chinese language on Tibetan culture and religion, Gyaltsen said, adding they have no direct way of sending such material to China.

The Chinese government, which has been using its diplomatic clout to try to block the pro-Tibetan message, calls the Dalai Lama a reactionary who seeks to split off nearly a quarter of the land mass of the People's Republic of China.

The 73-year-old exiled leader, who lives in India, denies the charge and says he seeks only greater rights for Tibetans, including religious freedom and real autonomy.

In March, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said China was open to more talks with the representatives of the Dalai Lama as long as the spiritual leader renounces what Beijing describes as separatism.
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