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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," he said.

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 Tibet.''

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 Tibetan people.

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.

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