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Associated Press – April 26, 2008
DHARMSALA, India – The Dalai Lama welcomed China’s offer to meet his envoy but said the two sides needed a meaningful discussion about how to resolve the problems that triggered riots in the Tibetan capital last month.
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader warned Saturday it would be futile if the talks turn out to be only a public relations exercise by China with no real dialogue.
“We need to have serious talks about how to reduce the Tibetan resentment within Tibet,” the Dalai Lama said a day after China said it would meet his envoy.
“But just mere meeting some of my men in order to show the world that they are having dialogue, then it is meaningless,” he told reporters after returning to his headquarters in the northern India town of Dharmsala from a two-week trip to the United States.
Even as Beijing said it would meet the Dalai Lama’s envoy, Chinese state media launched fresh attacks Saturday against him, blaming him for the recent unrest among Tibetans that threatens to tarnish this summer’s Beijing Olympics.
The People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party, printed an editorial on Saturday attacking “the Dalai clique” for seeking support from Western countries and ignoring “the efforts and achievements made by China after shaking off serfdom and poverty in Tibet.”
The Tibet Daily, another party newspaper, said “the Lhasa March 14 incident is another ugly performance meticulously plotted by the Dalai clique to seek Tibet independence.”
Last month, anti-government riots broke out in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, sparking a crackdown from Chinese forces. Beijing says 22 people died in the violence, while overseas Tibet supporters say many times that number have been killed in protests and the security crackdown.
Beijing’s announcement Friday gave few details and repeated preconditions for negotiations. One of those conditions – that the Dalai Lama unambiguously recognize Tibet as a part of China – could forestall any immediate breakthroughs.
The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet amid a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, says he seeks meaningful autonomy for Tibet – not independence.

Associated Press Writer Scott McDonald in Beijing contributed to this report.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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