Dalai Lama not to attend session of exiles

November 6th, 2008 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, Nov 6 (IANS) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is not attending a six-day special session of exiles at McLeodganj near here from Nov 17 to discuss the future of the Tibetan movement, an aide said Thursday.The session was called by the government-in-exile that is based in northern India at the behest of the spiritual guru.

“He (the Dalai Lama) does not want to influence his opinion (on the Tibet movement) by participating or addressing the meeting,” Thubten Samphel, a spokesperson for the government-in-exile told IANS.

“The aim of the session is to hear views of all the invitees and not to influence our (the parliament-in-exile) viewpoint,” he said.

The session would be attended by more than 500 Tibetan leaders, intellectuals, ethnic groups and others from across the globe.

The 73-year-old Buddhist leader said this week in Japan that “talks with the Chinese leadership over allowing more autonomy for the Buddhist region in Tibet has so far failed. I have to accept failure”.

Since his fleeing from Tibet in 1959, the Dalai Lama has believed in a “middle-way” approach that advocates “meaningful autonomy” for Tibet as a part of China.

“The watershed session would be an occasion to know the feelings and thinking of the exiles,” Samphel said.

Some analysts here believed that the decision of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate not to participate in the special session is to understand the tone and tenor of exiles, particularly of a newer generation.

Many radicals, particularly the youth, believe that Tibet was an independent nation before communist troops invaded in 1950 and demand full independence from China.

The analysts said “on the one hand the Dalai Lama is trying to convey to Chinese through this session that if they don’t want to give relaxations to Tibetans, more radicals will raise their head, on the other he is trying to mollify exiles by giving then an opportunity to air their grievances.”

The Dalai Lama along with many of his supporters fled Tibet and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.

The Dalai Lama has ever since been heading the government-in-exile, which is not recognised by any country in the world.

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