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China asks Dalai Lama to use his influence’ to stop Tibet violence

March 31st, 2008 · No Comments

China asks Dalai Lama to use his influence’ to stop Tibet violence
Beijing (PTI): Facing mounting international flak for the crackdown on Lhasa, China on Monday gave first signs of softening its stand by asking the Dalai Lama to use his “influence” to stop violence in Tibet and said the “channels” for dialogue with him are “always open.”

“The channels for dialogue between the Chinese government and Dalai Lama are always open,” Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said during a visit to Laos, as the Olympic flame arrived here today under tight security arrangements to thwart Tibetan protests.

“As long as Dalai Lama abandons the claim for ‘Tibet independence,’ especially uses his influence to stop the violence in Tibet, and recognise both Tibet and Taiwan as inseparable parts of China, the Chinese government is to continue resuming dialogues with him,” Wen was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Wen’s comments is seen as an apparent softening of China’s stand on the 72-year-old exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. The Chinese premier’s statement also comes after the US and other western powers intensified pressure on Beijing to talk to the Dalai Lama on the vexed Tibet issue.

US President George W Bush last week, during a telephonic talk with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, pushed very hard on the need for restraint, the need for consultation with representatives of the Dalai Lama.

China has accused the Dalai Lama of “masterminding” the violent protests ahead of the Olympics, slated to begin on August 8, to focus world’s attention on Tibet.

Meanwhile, Chinese police rounded up new suspects in connection with the most vicious pro-independence protests in two decades in Tibet, taking the number of those arrested to 414, media reports said on Monday.

Tags: Tibet

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