Dalai Lama says Tibetan movement faces danger of failure

Other News Materials 23 November 2008 12:33 (UTC +04:00)

After the close of a week-long Tibetan exile meeting to chart their future political course, the spiritual leader the Dalai Lama warned Sunday the movement could fail if leaders were not prudent over the next 20 years, dpa reported.

The Dalai Lama called the special conference in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala because he felt his "middle-way" policy for greater autonomy was leading nowhere, due to the "non-cooperation" of the Chinese leadership.

"My faith is getting thinner in the Chinese government," he said again, in his Sunday address, according to aides. "But my trust in Chinese public is strong."

He also said most exiles at the meeting supported the middle way approach, which he endorsed, and various options were discussed at the meeting. He dismissed calls for independence impractical for now, his aides said.

"The next 20 years if we are not careful, if we are not prudent in our plans there is great danger. It could lead to the danger of failure," he said.

At a press briefing Sunday, the Dalai Lama said he would not be retiring, and would work for the Tibetan cause till his death, IANS news agency reported.

"There is no point or question of retirement. It is my moral responsibility until my death to work for the Tibetan cause," he was quoted as saying.

In a report posted on its website Saturday, the Tibetan government-in-exile said the special meeting had unanimously reaffirmed Tibetan people's faith and allegiance to the Dalai Lama.

The meeting had also decided "to continue to follow the middle way approach to engage China in finding a resolution to the Tibetan issue," the report said.

But it said delegates called on the government-in-exile "to terminate the ongoing talks with the Chinese leadership if the Chinese government does not agree to the demands and reciprocate positively to the overtures of the Tibetan people."

"If China does not respond, we will have no option but to go for complete independence and self-determination," Dolma Gyari, the deputy speaker of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile, was quoted as saying by IANS.

The meeting also produced consensus to remain a non-violent movement.

Karma Choephel, speaker of the parliament-in-exile, said the meeting was necessary because the Chinese government had challenged the right of the Dalai Lama to represent the 6 million Tibetan people, both in Tibet and in exile.

The meeting reaffirmed the faith of the exiles in the Dalai Lama, he said, adding that envoys urged the Chinese leadership to hold a referendum inside Tibet to see whom they consider to represent them.