Several hundred Tibetan exile leaders have gathered here for a meeting expected to determine the direction of the movement that has struggled for decades to win autonomy from China.
The Chinese government has openly aired objections to the five-day conclave called by the Dalai Lama, beginning on Monday.
Though the Dalai Lama in a message denied any hidden agenda, analysts feel the brainstorming session will send out strong signals to China and the rest of the world that the Dalai Lama is the unquestioned leader of Tibetan settlers and his policy represents their collective wisdom.
The special meeting has been convened by the Tibetan leader for the first time since he fled Tibet in 1959. It is seemingly directed at satisfying the restless section amongst Tibetan settlers, who have serious doubts about the “middle way” approach formulated by the Dalai Lama three decades ago for finding what he termed a mutual beneficial solution to the 49-year-old Tibetan issue.
With several rounds of talks between China and representatives of the Dalai Lama failing to yield results, the demand for changing the policy had been getting shriller.
The Dalai Lama, who gave up the demand for independence in 1978, has been advocating genuine autonomy for the Tibetans in the Chinese-controlled region.
He believes the situation has worsened after March when Tibetans rose up against Chinese authorities.
While one section of Tibetan exiles supports the middle-way approach, the restive younger generation wants nothing less than independence.
“We know the meeting does not have the authority to change the policy on Tibet, but we are sure that whatever deliberations take place will form the basis for the future course of the Tibetan struggle,” Tibetan Youth Congress president Tsewang Rigzin said.
Fifteen committees would be formed and recommendations would be presented to the Dalai Lama on November 22.
Sino-Tibetan talk fails
With Chinese government out rightly rejecting the demand for genuine autonomy for Tibet advocated by Dalai Lama, the eight round of Sino-Tibetan dialogue has ended up in disappointment further casting aspersion on the future of fence mending exercise between the two sides initiated six years ago.