Dalai Lama loses hope of agreement with China: aide

October 26th, 2008 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, Oct 26 (IANS) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has “lost hope of reaching an agreement with the present Chinese leadership over allowing more autonomy for the Buddhist region in Tibet” as there is no response from across the border regarding the next round of negotiations, an aide said here Sunday.”He (the Dalai Lama) has lost hope of reaching an agreement with the present Chinese leadership over allowing more autonomy for the Buddhist region in Tibet,” Tenzin Taklha, joint secretary at Dalai Lama’s office, told IANS.

“The present situation over the autonomy issue indicates that the Chinese are not keen to address the issues realistically,” he added.

The parleys between the Dalai Lama’s envoys and the Chinese leadership, which resumed in Sep 2002, have been aimed at allowing more autonomy in Tibet but so far no major breakthrough has been achieved.

The Nobel Peace laureate has called for a special session of Tibetan exiles next month to discuss the future of the Tibetan movement.

Taklha said: “There is a lack of positive response from China regarding the visit of the envoys for the eighth round of negotiations. But we are still hopeful of getting green light from the Chinese.”

He denied media reports that the 73-year-old Dalai Lama was going into retirement.

“It’s wrong to say that the spiritual guru is going into retirement,” he said.

“Karma Cheophel (the speaker for the Tibetan government-in-exile) was wrongly quoted by a section of media that the Dalai Lama had hinted that ‘he is now on full retirement’,” Taklha said.

The Dalai Lama gave his first public address Saturday in this north Indian hill town since undergoing gallstone surgery in Delhi.

The eighth round of negotiations is important as during the last meeting in July the Chinese were preoccupied with the Beijing Olympics.

Special envoy Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, who participated in the last round of talks in China, had said that “in the course of our discussion (seventh round), we were compelled to candidly convey to our counterparts that in the absence of serious and sincere commitment on their part, the continuation of the present dialogue process would serve no purpose”.

This would be the third meeting between the two sides since a March crackdown on protesters in Tibet.

But political observers here pointed out that China “still believes that it’s willing to talk to the Dalai Lama about his future but not that of Tibet and it is the real guardian of Tibet’s culture”.

The Dalai Lama has been following a “middle-path” policy that demands “greater autonomy” for Tibetans, rather than complete independence.

The Nobel laureate, along with many of his supporters, fled Tibet and took refuge in India in 1959. The Dalai Lama has ever since been heading the Tibetan government-in-exile from here.

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