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March 21, 2008 / Mridul

China More Interested In Protocol Than Peace

Dalai Lama talking to reporters

There’s a difference between holding a dialogue with the government and wanting to meet the nation’s president. The Dalai Lama still regards himself as the head of a real government and wants to meet the head of state in Beijing on an equal footing. In effect, if the Tibetan leader is allowed to meet the Chinese president, it will not only mean a violation of the protocol but also send wrong signals to the public in China.

This statement was given by a Chinese official to an Indian daily. Clearly the Chinese don’t seem much interested in solving the current situation and bringing peace to the region. Their position in the world community and their image among their own people is much more important to them.

It is right that talks between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese President would be unusual and rare but the current situation is no different. This kind of urgency among the Tibetans hasn’t been seen in many decades. The young Tibetans believe that “its now or never”; many young Tibetans living in India are slowly taking up violent methods of protests with many arrested while pelting stones at the Chinese embassy in New Delhi.

The Chinese government must try to diffuse this violent situation and agree to some kind of negotiations because clearly we haven’t seen the last of the Tibetan protests and it certainly could be Now or Never.

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