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Dalai Lama Denies Tibet Seeks Independence; China Condemns His Visit to Italy


Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, says Tibet is not seeking independence from China, but only the preservation of its cultural heritage.

The Dalai Lama made his comment Thursday after arriving in Rome, where he addressed the country's lower house of parliament.

Italy's ANSA news agency says the exiled Tibetan leader urged that lawmakers support efforts to guarantee Tibetans the exercise of the rights granted them under the Chinese constitution.

China's government has criticized the Dalai Lama's visit to Rome, even though he is not scheduled to meet any members of the Italian government or Pope Benedict.

The Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. He was in Rome for an annual summit of Nobel peace laureates.

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