Dalai Lama Welcomes China Openness to Talks

The International Herald Tribune reports on cautious moves to restart negotiations between Beijing and the Tibetan government-in-exile:

The Tibetan government-in-exile over the weekend welcomed China’s stated willingness to hold more talks with its envoys but stressed that it was ‘‘not seeking separation’’ and said it hoped Beijing would demonstrate sincerity in dealing with the region.

‘‘His Holiness the Dalai Lama is always ready to engage with the Chinese leadership to find a mutually acceptable solution to the problems of the Tibetan people,’’ Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, said in a statement issued late Saturday.

The Chinese prime minister, Wen Jiabao, said Friday that China was open to more talks with envoys for the Dalai Lama as long as the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader renounced what Beijing describes as separatism.

The assertion that the Dalai Lama wants separation from China is ‘‘far from truth,’’ Samdhong Rinpoche’s statement said.

Xinhua has published reports that the Beijing-selected Panchen Lama, the second highest leader in Tibetan Buddhism, has made public statements backing Beijing’s policies in Tibet:

The Panchen Lama, one of the religious leaders of Tibetan Buddhism, went to the Cultural Palace of Nationalities to see the exhibition titled “50th Anniversary of Democratic Reforms in Tibet” that has been in running in Beijing since Feb. 24.

The Panchen Lama said documentary pictures, files and relics vividly reproduced the tragedy of slaves in old Tibet and the progress in human rights since the abolition of the serfdom.

Tibetan people could only achieve progress and have a bright future under the leadership of Communist Party of China, the Panchen Lama said.

Overseas groups are reporting a smattering of protests during the sensitive anniversary of last year’s unrest in Tibetan areas:

The Indian-based Tibetan government in exile said Sunday it has received new information about peaceful demonstrations in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) county in western Sichuan province. The exile government said Chinese authorities arrested a Buddhist nun, a monk and two other Tibetans during protests in early March.

There was no immediate Chinese government confirmation.

Exile sources also reported scattered acts of protests in other Tibetan towns in the Tibet Autonomous Region, as well as neighboring Qinghai and Sichuan provinces. In some places, Tibetans were said to have written slogans on walls calling for Tibetan independence and the return of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Reuters has a timeline of the past year of protests in Tibetan areas.

Meanwhile, The National reports on exiled Tibetans who are using the Internet to try to engage Chinese citizens:

With each new interlocutor she gently introduces the subject of her homeland Tibet and if they seem responsive she tells them more about her culture, religion and the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet 50 years ago tomorrow.

Tsering is able to do this because she was brought up in Tibet where she received a Chinese education.

Now, as part of a groundbreaking project she and 10 other recent arrivals, are putting that knowledge to use, as they seek to bypass the Chinese government and speak straight to the Chinese people, in the hope that one day they will help shape Beijing’s policies.

Their job, however, is not an easy one.

Al Jazeera also has a report on Tibetans living in exile and their efforts to seek independence for Tibet:

March 15, 2009 6:22 PM
Posted By:
Categories: Human Rights, Politics