( – promoted by buhdydharma )
The big news from the AP:
BEIJING (AP) – The Chinese government plans to meet with a private representative of the Dalai Lama in the coming days, state-run media reported, after weeks of pressure from world leaders.
The official Xinhua News Agency said it had learned of the development “from official sources.” It quoted an unnamed official as saying there had been requests repeatedly made by “the Dalai side for resuming talks.”
The official said “the relevant department of the central government will have contact and consultation with Dalai’s private representative in the coming days.” No date was given, and it was unclear exactly which representative was expected to take part in the meeting.
UPDATE NHK has further analysis from their Beijing correspondent:
The Wall Street Journal quotes Xinhua, China’s state-run news outlet:
“In view of the requests repeatedly made by the Dalai side for resuming talks, the relevant department of the central government will have contact and consultation with Dalai’s private representative in the coming days,” an unnamed official was quoted as saying by China’s state-run Xinhua news agency Friday afternoon.
The Dalai Lama issued An Appeal To All Chinese Spiritual Brothers And Sisters Thursday afternoon in a further attempt to promote dialogue and understanding and head off a humantarian crisis in Tibet (my emphasis added):
As most of you are aware, beginning with the 10th of March this year, a series of demonstrations have taken place in Lhasa and across many Tibetan areas. These are caused by deep Tibetan resentment against the policies of the Chinese government. I have been deeply saddened by the loss of life, both Chinese and Tibetans, and immediately appealed to both the Chinese authorities and the Tibetans for restraint. I specially appealed to the Tibetans not to resort to violence.
Unfortunately, the Chinese authorities have resorted to brutal methods to deal with the development despite appeals for restraint by many world leaders, NGOs and noted world citizens, particularly many Chinese scholars. In the process, there has been loss of life, injuries to many, and the detention of large number of Tibetans. The crackdown still continues, especially targeting monastic institutions, which have traditionally been the repository of ancient Buddhist knowledge and tradition. Many of these have been sealed off. We have reports that many of those detained are beaten and treated harshly. These repressive measures seem to be part of an officially sanctioned systematic policy.
With no international observers, journalists or even tourists allowed to Tibet, I am deeply worried about the fate of the Tibetans. Many of those injured in the crackdown, especially in the remote areas, are too terrified to seek medical treatment for fear of arrest. According to some reliable sources, people are fleeing to the mountains where they have no access to food and shelter. Those who remained behind are living in a constant state of fear of being the next to be arrested.
I am deeply pained by this ongoing suffering. I am very worried where all these tragic developments might lead to ultimately. I do not believe that repressive measures can achieve any long-term solution. The best way forward is to resolve the issues between the Tibetans and the Chinese leadership through dialogue, as I have been advocating for a long time. I have repeatedly assured the leadership of the People’s Republic of China that I am not seeking independence. What I am seeking is a meaningful autonomy for the Tibetan people that would ensure the long-term survival of our Buddhist culture, our language and our distinct identity as a people. The rich Tibetan Buddhist culture is part of the larger cultural heritage of the People’s Republic of China and has the potential to benefit our Chinese brothers and sisters.
In the light of the present crisis, I appeal to all of you to help call for an immediate end to the ongoing brutal crackdown, for the release of all who have been detained, and to call for providing immediate medical care to the injured.
Meanwhile, the AFP is reporting on Tibetan groups criticizing the latest round of “re-education” campaigns for Buddhist monks and nuns, saying that such repression will only add to more conflict:
Tibetan activists said jailing monks and nuns, forcing them to denounce the Dalai Lama and making them study communist theories inevitably led to more protests.
The International Campaign for Tibet and the Free Tibet Campaign said the latest major protest, in Garze county of southwest China’s Sichuan province on Thursday, was the direct result of “re-education”.
China sent officials and police into the Tongkor monastery last week to conduct re-education, but the monks refused to denounce the Dalai Lama as ordered, according to the two activist groups and other accounts.
After police detained two monks, hundreds of others from the monastery and other Tibetans marched on a government office to demand their release.
China’s official Xinhua news agency said police were forced to fire “warning shots” to quell the “rioters”. The activist groups said police fired into the crowd, killing at least eight Tibetans and inevitably breeding more resentment.
“The danger is we are going to witness this in other parts of Tibet… a response by Tibetans to the official teams coming into these monasteries and enforcing denunciations of the Dalai Lama,” said Kate Saunders, spokeswoman for the International Campaign for Tibet.
Separately in Japan the Olympic torch was greeted with protests as it arrived from Australia:
NAGANO, Japan (AP) – Riot police, protesters and Chinese well-wishers converged on Nagano in the mountains of central Japan on Friday as the embattled Beijing Olympic torch arrived on one of its final international stops before moving on to China.
Dozens of protesters surrounded by hundreds of riot police marched through the city, which hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics, carrying Tibetan flags and banners saying “Stop the Torch” as the flame arrived. Police helicopters buzzed in the air.
AFP spoke with one of the protesters:
Tomonori Hirose, 32, came to Nagano from the western city of Osaka with a megaphone and a homemade Tibetan flag, saying he was outraged by China’s crackdown on fellow Buddhists who demonstrated in Tibet last month.
“I want to shout something out tomorrow at the relay runners, like, ‘Shame on you!'” he said.
As torch-bearers rolled into Nagano, hundreds of Falun Gong supporters marched with a loud brass band through the city’s streets to condemn China’s leadership, which considers the spiritual movement an “evil cult.”
“Stop the mass murder by the Chinese Communist Party,” read a banner held by marchers in yellow Falun Gong T-shirts, who were closely watched by dozens of police.
Separately, at least two demonstrators unfurled Tibetan flags as the Chinese torch delegation stopped at a highway rest area on its way to Nagano, 180 kilometres (110 miles) north of Tokyo.
Please keep all sides of this conflict in your thoughts, prayers and meditations, especially the Tibetan journalist and writer Jamyang Kyi, as there is still no new news regarding her status or whereabouts after being escorted from her job by local police.