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Dalai Lama says 'no hope' for talks with China: spokesman-(Oct 27 2008)


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AFP
DHARAMSHALA, India (AFP) – The Dalai Lama is considering a major policy shift towards China following a complete lack of progress in talks on Tibetan autonomy with Beijing, a senior aide said Monday.

The Tibetan leader's spokesman Tenzin Taklha said all options would be on the table at a meeting scheduled next month of exiled Tibetan leaders involved in the campaign for greater autonomy for their Himalayan homeland.

"The only non-negotiable aspect is that the movement will still be non-violent. Everyone is agreed on that," Taklha said.

In his first public address since undergoing surgery for gallstones, the Dalai Lama said at the weekend that he had given up on extracting any concessions from Beijing after seven rounds of talks between Tibetan envoys and Chinese officials.

"He's lost hope in trying to reach a solution with the present Chinese leadership which is simply not willing to address the issues," Taklha said, citing continued persecution of Tibetans.

"His Holiness feels that other options have to be considered, and this will be done at the meeting in November," he said.

Taklha stressed, however, that there was no immediate prospect of the 73-year-old Dalai Lama going into retirement.

The Dalai Lama champions a "middle path" policy with China which espouses "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet, rather than full independence as many younger, more radical activists are demanding.

Despite the current sense of frustration, Taklha said an eighth round of talks with Beijing was expected to go ahead as scheduled this week.

"Whatever happens we have to keep the door to dialogue open,' he said.

Violent protests against Chinese rule broke out across Tibet in March, sparking a heavy Chinese crackdown that drew global condemnation.

Beijing accused the Dalai Lama of masterminding the unrest in order to destabilize the country and promote Tibetan independence -- a claim he denies.

The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India in 1959 following a failed uprising in Tibet against Chinese rule.

 
 
 
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