Dalai Lama makes fresh appeal for talks with Beijing


The Dalai Lama appealed to China on Friday to enter into "meaningful dialogue" over the crisis in Tibet, and asserted he did not want to undermine the Beijing Olympics and was not seeking independence.


In an open letter to his "Chinese brothers and sisters," the exiled spiritual leader said he was a "simple monk" trying to preserve "the Tibetan people's distinctive culture, language and identity."


"Even at this juncture I have expressed my willingness to the Chinese authorities to work together to bring about peace and stability," he wrote.


"I have appealed to the leadership of the PRC (People's Republic of China) to clearly understand my position and work to resolve these problems. I urge the Chinese leadership to exercise wisdom and to initiate a meaningful dialogue with the Tibetan people."


"I also appeal to them to make sincere efforts to contribute to the stability and harmony of the PRC and avoid creating rifts between the nationalities," the message said.


The Dalai Lama, who is currently in the Indian capital conducting Buddhist meditation workshops, also said he was "deeply saddened by the loss of life in the recent tragic events in Tibet."


"I am aware that some Chinese have also died. I feel for the victims and their families and pray for them," he said, adding the rioting only underscored "the urgent need to seek a peaceful and mutually beneficial solution through dialogue."


"Chinese brothers and sisters, I assure you I have no desire to seek Tibet's separation. Nor do I have any wish to drive a wedge between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples," he said in the lengthy statement.


"My primary concern, as I have repeated time and again, is to ensure the survival of the Tibetan people's distinctive culture, language and identity. As a simple monk who strives to live his daily life according to Buddhist precepts, I assure you of the sincerity of my motivation."


He also rejected Beijing's allegations he was seeking to undermine the Beijing Olympics in August.


"I have, from the start, supported Beijing's being awarded the opportunity to host the Games. My position remains unchanged," he said, praising China's "long history and extremely rich civilization."


"But China also needs to earn the respect and esteem of the global community through the establishment of an open and harmonious society based on the principles of transparency, freedom, and the rule of law," he added.


He said, however, that Chinese "state media's portrayal of the recent events in Tibet, using deceit and distorted images, could sow the seeds of racial tension with unpredictable long-term consequences." (AFP)