China says Dalai Lama rejects dialogue

BEIJING – Chinese state media accused the Dalai Lama on Sunday of closing the door to talks over Tibet’s future, an apparent response to rising international calls for Beijing to negotiate with Tibet’s exiled Buddhist leader.

In a lengthy article, Xinhua News Agency cited past actions and statements attributed to the 72-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner that it said contradicted or undermined his calls for negotiations.

“It was the Dalai Lama clique that closed the door of dialogue,” Xinhua said, using China‘s standard term for the Tibetan government-in-exile.

The statement came a day before the arrival in Beijing of the Olympic torch, which has become a magnet for Tibetan activists and other groups seeking to use the August Games to draw attention to their cause.

China has accused the Dalai Lama of orchestrating protests in Tibet’s regional capital Lhasa and other heavily Tibetan areas that started peacefully among Buddhist monks, but turned deadly on March 14. Beijing says 22 people were killed in Lhasa, while Tibetan exiles put the overall death toll at 140.

China’s Premier Wen Jiabao told Hong Kong media in Laos Sunday that Lhasa is “basically stable,” and that “social order has returned to normal.”

Wen reiterated China’s position that it is open to talks with the Dalai Lama if he gives up his desire for independence, and acknowledges that Tibet and Taiwan are inseparable from China.

Officials with Lhasa’s municipal government described the city as calm Sunday, a day after a protest reportedly broke out at a monastery there. The officials said they were sending text messages to area residents telling them not to “believe or pass on rumors of unrest.”

Read the rest here:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080330/ap_on_re_as/china_tibet

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