China must begin serious talks to resolve Tibet issue, says Dalai Lama
Phayul [Wednesday, May 19, 2010 19:43]
By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala, May 19: Exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that the Chinese leadership must acknowledge that there is a Tibetan problem and begin serious talks to resolve the issue.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Dharamsala, India, in April 2010 (Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL/file)
The Tibetan leader, who is currently touring the US, was speaking to a Chinese language media outlet, Duowei, in Cedar Falls on Tuesday, according to a post on the official website of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.
The interview was conducted by its chairman, Mr. Yu Pinhai, who had flown to Cedar Falls from Hong Kong, for the purpose, the report said.
“The Chinese leadership needs to acknowledge that there is a Tibetan problem and begin serious discussions,” the Dalai Lama said, responding to questions on the nature of the Tibetan issue and what would it take for the dialogue process with the Chinese leadership to move forward.
When asked what steps he could take, the Dalai Lama said he had already done everything possible from his side.
The Dalai Lama said that the whole world knew he was not asking for Tibetan independence, but added that the Chinese Government continued to accuse him of being a "separatist."
Some Chinese United Front officials have said that there is no Tibetan issue, but only the issue of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan leader told the interviewer.
The Dalai Lama said preservation of Tibetan culture remained his main concern. Repeating his earlier assertions, the Dalai Lama said “whether intentional or unintentional some sort of cultural genocide is taking place” in Tibet.
The problem, he said, was that “some narrow minded Chinese leaders only saw the Tibetan identity as a source of separation.”
During the interview, the Tibetan leader also recalled the commitment put forward by the then paramount Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979 that “except for the issue of independence everything else can be discussed and resolved.”
The Dalai Lama said once serious discussions started it should be the Tibetans in Tibet who should be taking active part in it. “I have always said that the majority of Tibetans who are in Tibet are my boss.” Currently, he said Tibetans in Tibet are afraid to speak their minds for fear of being branded as separatists.
The Dalai Lama further clarified that he had “never asked all the Chinese to move out of Tibet", saying he only wanted “Tibetans [should] be the majority as that was essential for the survival of the Tibetan identity."
Referring to the development in Inner Mongolia, the Dalai Lama said “there are only three to four million Mongolians compared to around 20 million Chinese.” In the case of Tibet, he said that for a population of six million Tibetans “one million Chinese being there would not be a problem”.
Talks between China and the Tibetan envoys resumed in January for the first time in 15 months but made no apparent progress on the Tibetans' proposal for meaningful autonomy in the region.
It was the ninth round of talks between Beijing and Dharamsala since 2002.
Earlier this month, in an exclusive interview with the Associated Press, the Dalai Lama said the Tibetan exile movement must press forward with its talks with the Chinese government despite years of negotiations that have resulted in almost no progress. The Dalai Lama cautioned that it could be decades before any benefits of such talks with China are obvious.
The Dalai Lama has said he hopes rounds of talks will bring some form of autonomy for Tibet within the People's Republic of China that would allow the Tibetan way of life to thrive. But Beijing, which sees the Tibetan leader as a threat to the unity of the “motherland”, routinely demonizes the Nobel Peace laureate and accuses him of being a separatist.