The Dalai Lama’s policy of seeking autonomy rather than full independence from China, has been backed during the Tibetan exiles meeting in India. (photo, from legrandjournal.com.mx)
However, as the Dalai Lama himself recently said that he feared talks with China had reached a dead end, the decision to support the Tibetan spiritual leader’s approach to continue talks with Beijing was viewed as conditional on progress being made.
Some Tibetans have indicated that they support pressing for full independence.
The Dalai Lama ‘s so-called “Middle Way” approach means that Tibetans would stop pushing for the re-establishment of Tibet as an independent nation.
The week-long meeting in Dharamsala, convened by Tibetan leaders-in-exile in order to discuss their approach to relations with China, gave the policy renewed backing by majority vote.
China maintains that Tibet has always been an integral part of its territory, even though Tibet has enjoyed long periods of autonomy or self-rule.
In 1950, Tibet was invaded by Chinese Communist forces, who have ruled there ever since.
Though the Dalai Lama still has the support of the Tibetan exile community, for the first time caveats and alternative views have been endorsed, notes the BBC’s Chris Morris, in Dharamsala.
Other options, like calls for independence and self determination, would be put forward if China makes no effort to meet the Dalai Lama’s demands, concluded the meeting.
Delegates also suggested that the Dalai Lama’s envoy should not return to China unless attitudes change in Beijing.
The recommendations are non-binding. Before the conference, the Dalai Lama had indicated that he wanted to hear the views of his people.
On Sunday, the Dalai Lama himself is expected to comment on the decisions.