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Dalai Lama's Envoys Travel to Beijing for Talks With Chinese Officials


Two envoys of the Dalai Lama are traveling to Beijing for talks with Chinese officials on Tibet. As Anjana Pasricha reports from New Delhi, the dialogue will be held days after the Tibetan spiritual leader expressed frustration at lack of progress in talks with China.

The Dalai Lama's spokesman on Thursday expressed hope that Chinese officials will use the new round of talks with the Tibetan leader's envoys to "respond positively."

The talks are in continuation of a dialogue that began in 2002 - and will be held days after an unusually blunt Dalai Lama said that he is losing hope that the dialogue with China will lead to any settlement on Tibet.

The Tibetan spiritual leader has been seeking some form of political autonomy that would allow Tibetans to freely practice their culture and religion.

But on the weekend he said at a public function that he had "given up" because there was no positive response from China in the talks held so far. He suggested that the Chinese leadership does not seem interested in addressing the Tibet issue in a realistic way.

The Dalai Lama's spokesman, Tenzin Takhla says there is a sense of frustration among Tibetans.

"His Holiness, not only his Holiness, all the Tibetans have been frustrated at the lack of response, lack of positive response from the Chinese," he said. "Rather than admitting there is a problem inside Tibet, that there is a issue, the Chinese keep insisting that everything is fine and that Tibetan people inside Tibet are happy, they blame His Holiness for the unrest, they say there is no Tibetan issue. So we hope the Chinese would use this opportunity to respond positively."

This week's talks will be the second between the Dalai Lama's envoys and Beijing since Chinese security forces crushed anti-China riots which erupted in March in Tibet.

Beijing blamed the Dalai Lama's supporters for engineering the violence, while the Tibetan leader said the protests were like a "people's movement."

Tibetan officials in India have convened a meeting of Tibetan exile communities and political organizations in mid-November to consider the foundering dialogue with China. Some observers say the meeting may consider a shift in strategy.

So far the Dalai Lama's has adopted what he calls "the Middle Way" - non violence and more dialogue with the Chinese. But there has been a growing impatience among younger Tibetan exiles with that strategy.

China has ruled Tibet since 1951, and denies any charges of repression in the region.

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