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|November 2, 1998||
Dalai Lama to hold discussions with Chinese leaders
The parliament-in-exile of Tibet has authorised supreme Tibetan leader Dalai Lama to formulate the crucial policy regarding political future of Tibet for the proposed summit between the Dalai Lama and top Chinese leader Jiang Zemin.
Professor Sardhong Rinpoche, the chairman of the Parliament in exile, said the Dalai Lama might undertake a ''pilgrimage'' to Mount Wutai, in mainland ,China in the near future. This historic event might also bring some good news for the Tibetans living in Tibet and in exile, Prof Rinpoche said.
Mount Wutai, which the Tibetans call as mountain of five peaks, is considered the abode of two Bodhisatvas, Manjushree and Maitraiyanath, who preached the message of peace and non-violence to the Chinese.
Prof Rinpoche said the Dalai Lama would soon make an announcement regarding the Tibetan stand to be adopted in the proposed summit.
''Much depends on the Chinese leadership on whether this first ever direct dialogue between the Dalai Lama and them would succeed,'' he added.
He said the Tibetan leadership was of the opinion that the United States and other Western countries could help in creating a favourable atmosphere fore the success of the summit but, ''we do not favour a mediation by any western powers in resolving the Tibetan problem.''
The Tibetan leader said the countries of the Himalayan region, specially India could play a role if the need for any mediation arose.
The Dalai Lama, in his 'Tibetan uprising day' message, released on March 10 this year had favoured mediation by India in resolving the Tibetan problem. The Indian government did not respond positively to the suggestion made by the Dalai Lama.
Further, the nuclear explosion by India had generated criticism by Western powers and China, thus diminishing the possibility of any Indian role in the issue, Prof Rinpoche observed.
He said, "The policy of one nation and two systems cannot be applied to Tibet as the case of Tibet was entirely different from that of Hong Kong and Taiwan. Historical facts regarding polity and culture of Tibetan people reveal that in some respect, Tibet deserves more freedom.
Elaborating the middle path approach of the Dalai Lama, Prof Rinpoche said the matter relating to defence and external affairs could be left to Beijing and in the remaining areas, Tibet should be granted freedom to manage its own affairs.
The division of Tibet into six areas should end and the whole country should be brought under the control of Lhasa, he said.
He said Chinese leadership was giving contradictory signals regarding the resolution on the Tibetan issue and it appeared that opinion of the former was divided between the hardliners and the softliners. ''We hope that China will realise that a self-ruled Tibet will be in the interest of both -- the Tibetan and the Chinese people, '' he remarked.
Prof Rinpoche said Tibetans favoured a democratic system and constitutional rule in their country while maintaining a fruitful relationship with China.
Explaining the religious importance of Mount Wutai, Prof Rinpoche said the place was regarded holy by Buddhists the world over. The young Dalai Lama had requested for permission to visit the place in 1955 when he was on a trip to Beijing, but the Chinese authorities had turned down his request on the ground that the situation there was not normal. The main reason behind the Chinese decision was that the communists had caused a lot of destruction there, targeting Buddhist shrines and monasteries, he said.
The Tibetan leader said international support for Tibet was increasing and no government could ignore popular sentiments. Many governments and parliaments had supported the Tibetan cause and Chinese leadership was under severe criticism for human rights violations in Tibet, he said.
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