Dalai Lama seeks fresh answers

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Dharamsala, Nov.15 : Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is said to be seeking fresh answers to questions about securing autonomy for all Tibetans. The Dalai Lama shocked his followers last month when he said he had failed in his efforts to negotiate a "middle way" with China by asking for real autonomy, rather than independence.

"As far as I'm concerned, I have given up," he said.

He also called for a six-day conference of 600 Tibetan exiles to discuss their movement's future in the light of the violent anti-Chinese protests in Tibet this year.

That meeting, which begins on Monday, could ultimately lead to the Dalai Lama taking a more hard line stance and resuming his calls for independence for the first time in 30 years.

Some fear it could encourage younger Tibetans to adopt violent tactics, despite the Dalai Lama's opposition, which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. Others worry that, whatever the result, it will play into the hands of the Chinese Government, which is intent on dividing the exiled community.

At the heart of the issue is the question of Tibet's status before Communist troops took control in 1950. The Chinese Government says that Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries, while the Dalai Lama says that it had been de facto independent for hundreds of years.

He is hoping that the conference will provide him with fresh ideas, a new mandate to deal with China and relief from the burden of decision-making.

The problem is that many Tibetans are still reluctant to criticise him or his policies, and the government-in-exile is loath to renounce the middle way.

ANI

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