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Dalai Lama Calls for Greater Autonomy for Tibet During Mexico Visit - 2004-10-06

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has called for what he called genuine autonomy for Tibet.

The Buddhist leader spoke to legislators in Mexico City Wednesday as he neared the end of a tour of the Americas that also included the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

He has said during his visit to Mexico that he does not seek outright independence for Tibet, which has been under Chinese control since 1951. But he says he would like real autonomy and more religious freedom for his homeland.

Critics of Wednesday's meeting complained it would imply Mexico supports Tibetan rights. President Vicente Fox has declined to meet with the spiritual leader for fear of angering China.