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Exiled Tibetan Leader Ready for Talks with Chinese Leaders


The Dalai Lama says he is willing to meet with Chinese leaders, including President Hu Jintao, to discuss the situation in Tibet once anti-government protests there have ended.

The exiled spiritual leader told reporters Thursday it was not "practical" for him to travel to Beijing at this point, but is ready to go at the first sign of a "concrete" development.

China has blamed the Dalai Lama for orchestrating the protests, which broke out several days ago in the capital of Lhasa and turned violent. China ackowleged today that the anti-government riots have spread to other provinces.

State media say authorities have arrested at least 24 people in connection with last Friday's violent anti-government protests in Lhasa. Journalists and activist groups say large numbers of Chinese troops have been deployed in provinces along Tibet's eastern border.

Reporters Without Borders expressed outrage at the methods the Chinese authorities use to obstruct foreign journalists from covering the situation in Tibet.

The media rights group said that, for the repression in Tibet to end, the United Nations must demand the return of foreign journalists barred from the Tibetan areas and the dispatch of independent observers.

Human rights groups say hundreds of people have been arrested following last week's riots. The U.S.-based International Campaign for Tibet estimates at least 900 people were arrested in Lhasa on Saturday and Sunday.

The Tibetan government-in-exile says at least 99 people have been killed in the unrest.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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