Dalai Lama says he will not meet Jiang Zemin
The Dalai Lama has disapproved of the demand by
various Tibetan organisations for a meeting between Chinese President Jiang
Zemin and him.
''Although I have a strong desire to meet President Jiang Zemin
while he is in India, it is obvious that in view of the new wave
of repression and the ongoing campaign to denounce me inside Tibet,
the prospect of such a meeting is unrealistic,'' he said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of
Tibetan exiles burnt an effigy of the Chinese leader and staged a protest march.
The Dalai Lama said Sino-Indian relations were an important
factor in securing and maintaining peace in the world, particularly
in Asia. ''I also believe that a relationship based on genuine
trust and confidence between India and China will help in creating
a conducive environment in resolving the problem of Tibet,"
The Tibetan spiritual leader urged Jiang to reverse China's ''repressive
policy in Tibet.''
"Today," he said, "the Tibetan people with their unique
cultural heritage are facing the threat of extinction. The present
Chinese policy is resulting in a kind of cultural genocide in
Hundreds of Tibetan exiles staged a protest march hours before
Jiang's arrival. The Delhi police stopped the
march in north Delhi and threw a security cordon around the Chinese
embassy in view of Jiang's visit.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the central Tibetan
administration on Friday hoped that the
co-operation between China and India would not be at the expense of
the ''rights and happiness of the Tibetan people''.
Tempa Tsering, secretary of the department of information and
international relations of the Tibetan administration based at
Dharamsala, condemned the inclusion of Gyaltsen Norbu,
chairman of the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region, and Dorje
Tsering, deputy minister of civil administration, in the Chinese
delegation accompanying President Jiang to India.
The inclusion of these two men in the Chinese delegation, he said, was
an attempt by China to impress the world that the Tibetan people
supported whatever agreement that might be signed on Tibet between
China and India, and also to give the impression that the situation
in ''Chinese-occupied Tibet is improving''.
On both counts, he said
"the impression was patently false''.
Tempa Tsering said China had no moral, historical or legal right
to reach any agreement with any country which affected the destiny
of Tibet without the willing consent of the Tibetan people and the
Dalai Lama, the political and religious leader of the
The Tibetan official said contrary to official Chinese publicity,
the situation in Tibet was not improving. He said the situation
is rapidly deteriorating because of increased Chinese ''repression'' in Tibet,
which includes a total ban on the possession of
photographs of the Dalai Lama, the closure of monasteries and
expulsion of monks and nuns who owed spiritual allegiance to
his holiness, he added.
He said there were reports that about 1,000 monks had been
expelled from the Chamdo Jampaling monastery in Chamdo, a major town in Kham in Eastern Tibet for their refusal to disown the Dalai Lama.
Tsering said the situation in Tibet today was reverting to the
Cultural Revolution when a midnight knock at the door meant being
doomed to long imprisonment. As of 1995, there were about 700 known
cases of 'prisoners of conscience' being held in the jails of the
so-called Tibet Autonomous Region alone, he added. China, he said, had
succeeded in turning Tibet into one vast prison.