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Dalai Lama Cites Growing Support in China for Tibetans བོད་སྐད།


The Dalai Lama says he is encouraged by what he calls growing solidarity and support for the Tibetan cause from Chinese intellectuals and others in the People's Republic.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, speaking Tuesday in Switzerland, said even some Chinese officials have told him privately of their concern for the future of Tibet.

He also told reporters the international community should send investigators to Tibet to probe the violent crackdown by Chinese authorities last year in the capital, Lhasa.

The Dalai Lama, in Switzerland on a five-day visit, has campaigned across much of the world for Tibetan autonomy. He has repeatedly said he believes Tibet's heritage and culture are in jeopardy under Chinese rule.

Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking independence for Tibet, while the exiled spiritual leader says he only wants autonomy.

The Tibetan leader’s envoy based in Geneva, Kelsang Gyaltsen, expressed his disappointment at the Swiss government’s decision not to welcome the Tibetan leader. In an interview he gave to Swiss Info Kelsang said that His Holiness doesn't wish to cause any inconvenience to any host government. It is alright if certain governments don't meet him. “But as a Swiss-Tibetan I am disappointed with this decision by the Swiss government. This is not helpful; it doesn't send the right signal to the Chinese leadership that they need to rethink their policy regarding Tibet and minorities in China.”

Kelsang further said that Switzerland has a reputation as a country committed to humanitarian values and traditions and to the ideals of freedom and democracy. “By not meeting with the Dalai Lama the decision of the federal council [government] is in some way damaging the credibility of these values for which Switzerland stands in the eyes of the international community.”

According to the Swiss foreign ministry, Chiara Simoneschi-Cortesi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, will meet His Holiness. On Thursday he will travel to Geneva for a Sino-Tibetan conference.

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

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