China flags Dalai Lama Olympic invite

May 12th, 2008 - 7:51 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, May 12 (ANI): A senior Chinese official has asked whether Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama would agree to attend the Beijing Olympics to ease recent tensions.
The Australian quoted Khedroob Thondup, a Tibet government-in-exile legislator, as saying on Monday that he had received a call from a senior leader in Beijing about two weeks ago to “sound out” the Olympic visit idea. He did not identify the leader.
Thondup also said the Dalai Lama would consider accepting the offer.
The gesture suggests that Beijing seeks to show the world that it can get along with Tibetan leaders following a world opinion backlash over China’s handling of the Tibet violence.
“If they want to invite His Holiness to the Olympics, that would be a big change. I’m sure the Dalai Lama would consider this,” Thondup said.
China has repeatedly lashed out at the Dalai Lama for a deadly March 14 riot in the region’s capital Lhasa and for subsequent scuffles or protests in Tibetan areas of China, which took control over the mountainous territory in the 1950s.
The recent unrest, the most serious challenge to Chinese rule in the region for nearly two decades, prompted anti-China protests that disrupted the international leg of the torch relay for the August 8-24 Beijing Olympics and led to calls for Western leaders to boycott the August Games.
But Mr Thondup said he didn’t expect any results from ongoing talks between the government-in-exile and Chinese leaders because of lack of an agenda or consensus.
The two sides met last week and are expected to hold another round before the Olympics, he said.
There have been six rounds of dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama’s envoys since 2002, with no breakthrough. (ANI)

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