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Dalai-China dialogue ends abruptly

world Updated: May 05, 2008 03:15 IST
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The much-awaited talks between the Dalai Lama's envoys and China ended abruptly on Sunday hours after the two sides met for the first time since the unrest erupted in Tibet in March, with Beijing demanding "credible moves" from the the Tibetan leader to stop violence as a precondition for the next round of parleys.

Chinese officials and the Dalai Lama's "private representatives" agreed to hold another round of "contact and consultation at an appropriate time", state run Xinhua news agency said after the meeting in the booming southern city of Shenzen.

It said during the meeting officials Zhu Weiqun and Sitar told the Dalai Lama's envoys that the riots in Lhasa on March 12 had given rise to "new obstacles" for resuming contacts and consultations with the "Dalai side".

However, the government, they said, still arranged the meeting with "great patience and sincerity".

Zhu and Sitar had expressed the hope that to create conditions for the next round of contact and consultation, the Dalai side would take "credible moves to stop activities aimed at splitting China, stop plotting and inciting violence and stop disrupting and sabotaging the Beijing Olympic Games," the agency said quoting sources.

Earlier the Tibetan government-in-exile based in Dharmshala had said talks between the Dalai Lama's envoys Lody Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen and Chinese officials would continue for next two-three days but the parleys failed to stretch beyond a few hours at the tight guarded state guest house.

Tenzin Takhla, Dalai Lama's secretary had on Sunday morning told PTI from Dharamshala, that the envoys are expected to return to India by Thursday and brief the Dalai Lama on the talks.

The Chinese officials said that the Lhasa riots which was "against the peoples will" had jeopardised the fundamental interests of all the Chinese people, including Tibetans and caused "great public indignation and strong condemnation" by people from various walks of live.

The Tibetan government-in-exile said on Saturday that their "immediate concern" was for ending "repression" and lifting of all restrictions on Tibetans and they will raise it with the Chinese.

However, Chinese officials involved in the parleys defended the crackdown saying it was "completely correct" for the local government to take actions in accordance with the law to maintain social stability and to safeguard the countrys legal system and the "peoples essential interest".

The officials also said that as the Lhasa riot had been put down, social order was being restored. Religious followers there were enjoying full freedom of religious belief, and the people were yearning for stability and development, they claimed.

The Dalai Lamas representatives expressed their views on "relevant matters" and said they would "report truthfully what had been discussed" at the meeting to the Dalai Lama, Xinhua quoted sources as saying.

Earlier, Chinese President Hu Jintao comments that he hoped for a "positive outcome" in the fence-mending talks had raised hopes of a breakthrough.

"I hope the contacts will yield a positive outcome," Hu said but asked the Dalai Lama to abandon "violent agitation", Japanese Kyodo news agency reported before the key talks began.

The unrest in Tibet, that rattled the Communist leadership and posed the most serious challenge to the Chinese rule in the Himalayan region in the last two decades, and Beijing's crackdown to quell it ahead of the Olympics brought global pressure on China to hold a dialogue.

"Our policy on the Dalai Lama is clear and consistent and the door of dialogue remains open," official Xinhua news agency quoted Hu as having told the Japanese journalists.

"Judgment should be based on a persons deeds as well as his words," he said in an obvious reference to the Dalai Lama, 72, whom China has repeatedly blamed for the violence in Lhasa and other Tibetan-populated areas.

Xinhua said the meeting was arranged at the repeated requests made by the "Dalai side" for resuming the talks.

The Dalai Lama had recently given an indication of backchannel efforts being made for a dialogue during a visit to the US.

He said his representatives were holding "private talks" with Beijing, describing it as "some efforts through private channels" but had insisted that there must be "serious talks" or otherwise holding it "just to show it to the world" would be "meaningless".

The Dalai Lama has accused China of carrying out "cultural genocide" in Tibet from where he fled in 1959 to live in exile in India after a failed uprising against the Chinese rule.

China says the violence has claimed 20 lives besides leaving hundreds of others injured. The Tibetan groups put the toll many times higher and accuses the Chinese government of repression.

In the first trial relating to the riots, 30 persons, including six monks were last week handed down sentences ranging from three years to life imprisonment.