Tibet's government in exile is expressing cautious optimism about the Chinese
premier's statement on his willingness for further contacts with the Dalai
The statement by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is being
welcomed in the Himalayan town of Dharamsala in northern India, the home of the
Tibetan government in exile.
The Kalon Tripa, Samdhong Rinpoche, the political
head of the exile Central Tibetan Administration, has issued a statement
responding to Mr. Wen's willingness to continue contacts and consultations with
the Dalai Lama's envoys.
Administration spokesman Thubten Samphel tells
VOA News the Tibetan spiritual leader remains ready to hold such discussions
with the Chinese.
"On the other hand we feel these contacts need to lead
to substantial results, in terms of resolving the issue of Tibe," Samphel said.
The Chinese premier, at a (Friday) news conference, said such talks
could be held if the Dalai Lama renounces separatism.
Samphel says the Chinese government is aware of the position declared by the
Dalai Lama during the eighth round of Sino-Tibetan talks last year that his
hopes for "genuine autonomy" lie strictly within the principles of the Chinese
"We are not seeking Tibet's separation from the
mainland. So instead of hurling these accusations it is time for the Chinese
leaders to look into the problems in Tibet," Samphel said. "People are very,
very unhappy in Tibet so the Chinese government must address problems in Tibet
and to meet the aspirations of the people in Tibet.
The Dalai Lama has
lived in India since 1959, after fleeing Tibet during a failed armed uprising.
China this month poured troops into Tibet to prevent protests marking
the 50th anniversary of that uprising.
Chinese forces and Tibetans
violently clashed last year amid demonstrations in Tibet. Pro-Tibetan rights
organizations contend hundreds of Tibetans were killed or remain missing as a
result of the 2008 crackdown.
China blames the Dalai Lama for instigating
the protests as part of efforts to split Tibet from China. But the Buddhist
leader denies the charge and says he only wants meaningful autonomy for Tibet
inside the borders of China.
Beijing insists Tibet has been an integral
part of China for centuries.