China continues anti-Dalai Lama tirade after talks

Other News Materials 5 May 2008 16:50 (UTC +04:00)

Chinese state media on Monday continued tough rhetoric against the Dalai Lama, accusing the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader of "monstrous crimes" one day after holding talks with his envoys, reported dpa.

The "Dalai clique" wanted to "confuse public opinion and incite ethnic hatred" as part of a plan to split China, the official Tibet Daily newspaper said in a commentary.

"Following the March 14 incident in Lhasa, the Dalai has not only refused to admit his monstrous crimes but has also continued to perpetuate fraud," the commentary said, referring to rioting in the capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

China said 18 civilians and one police officer died in the March 14 rioting in Lhasa.

The Tibetan government in exile, based in the Indian town of Dharamsala, said 203 people had died since March in widespread unrest in Tibetan areas of China, most of them Tibetans shot by Chinese police.

The Tibetan government in exile said it was pleased with the "informal" talks between Chinese officials and envoys of the Dalai Lama on Sunday, and that Beijing had committed to continue the dialogue.

Although the talks achieved no breakthrough, the discussions proceeded satisfactorily in a "good atmosphere" with both sides communicating their positions to each other, Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the government in exile, said via telephone from Dharamsala.

The talks in China's southern city of Shenzhen were the first meeting between the two sides in nearly a year.

The Chinese officials "patiently answered the questions raised by the two representatives" of the Dalai Lama and "exchanged views with them on future contacts and consultations", the official China Daily reported.

They told the envoys that the rioting in Lhasa had raised "new obstacles for resuming contact and consultations with the Dalai side" and "jeopardized the fundamental interests of all the Chinese including Tibetans," the newspaper said.

They said China's ruling Communist Party hoped the Dalai Lama and his supporters would "create conditions for the next round of contact and consultation" by taking "credible action to stop activities aimed at splitting China, stop plotting and inciting violence, and stop disrupting and sabotaging the Beijing Olympic Games."

Sunday's talks were held in the wake of anti-China protests, rioting and a Chinese crackdown in Tibetan areas since March 10, the 49th anniversary of a failed uprising in Tibet against Chinese rule.

The talks followed international pressure on China to reopen dialogue after Beijing's crackdown on Tibetan protesters, which has marred its preparations for the Olympics.

The Chinese government has engaged in six rounds of dialogue with representatives of the Dalai Lama since 2002, but no progress has been reported. The previous round was held in June.