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China warns Dalai Lama over Olympics

By Raghavendra in Beijing
July 07, 2008 11:48 IST
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After the latest fence-mending talks on the Tibet issue that failed to make any headway, China has declared that future dialogue with envoys of the Dalai Lama hinges on his response to its demands that included not disrupting Beijing Olympics.

At the secret talks in Beijing last week, China had demanded that the Buddhist leader take "concrete steps" to curb "terrorist" activities of Tibetan Youth Congress based in India and not to support "plots to fan" violent activities and not to support any argument and activity to seek "Tibetan independence".

"If the Dalai Lama fails to meet such simple and rational requirements, it will be impossible to have necessary atmosphere and condition for next round of contact," an unnamed spokesman of the united front work department of the Communist Party of China central xommittee, which oversaw the talks, said.

Repeating China's position that the door for dialogue was "always open", he said contacts would make "positive moves as long as the Dalai Lama suits his actions with his words and truly practises the four "not-to-supports (Chinese conditions)," he said. "They are more practical and more convenient for the Dalai Lama to follow."

The second round of talks came amidst rising international pressure on both sides to continue the dialogue to ease tensions ahead of Beijing Olympics as a follow up to the contact they had in May in Shenzen in the first encounter after unrest erupted in Tibet in March. 

After the two-day talks last week, envoys of the Dalai Lama said the self-exiled leader was "disappointed" by the outcome. Special envoys Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen said they had told Chinese officials during the talks that continuing the parleys on the Tibet issue would serve no purpose until China took "tangible" measures.

But seeking to put the onus on the Dalai Lama, the Communist official, according to official Xinhua news agency, said: "It is time for the Dalai Lama to respond with sincerity and prove it by deeds after the Chinese Central government had communicated goodwill to him during the meeting with his private representatives."

The official said the contacts and dialogue were "about the Dalai Lama's personal future, not so-called "China-Tibet negotiation" or "dialogue between Han and Tibetan people".

He said as required by the two envoys of the Dalai Lama, the Central government agreed in principle that the next round of talks might be held before the end of this year.

The latest round of talks was the highest level meeting and the seventh between the two sides since the dialogueresumed in 2002.

China has repeatedly targeted the Dalai Lama for vitriolic attack after riots broke out in Tibet, accusing him of having "masterminded" the violence and trying to disrupt the Beijing Olympics, charges the 73-year-old Tibetan leader, who fled to India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, denies.

The Dalai Lama has said he supports Olympics.

The violence that erupted during the severest anti-government protests in two decades posing a big challenge to the Communist leadership, had led to a crackdown by Beijing.

Major powers led by the US had ratcheted up pressure on China to end the crackdown and hold a dialogue with the Dalai Lama side.

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Raghavendra in Beijing
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