Tibet’s exiled leaders have agreed to continue with the Dalai Lama’s softly-softly approach to China, despite few signs of progress in talks with Beijing.
The Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle Way’ abandons the dream of independence for Tibet, in return for greater autonomy within China. Tibet’s spiritual leader is preparing his followers for his gradual retirement, but some younger exiles are becoming impatient and say his way has failed.
“We will not sent envoys for further contact,” said Tibetan exile Dolma Gyari. “If China does not respond positively to our initiatives, there is no other option left for us than to go for complete independence.”
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India in 1950 when Chinese troops invaded his homeland after a failed uprising against Beijing. Opposition to Beijing’s rule exploded violently in Tibet in the run-up to this summer’s Olympics. Gangs led by Buddhist monks claimed Chinese businesses were unfairly benefitting from the Games, and went on the rampage in the capital Lhasa.