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Dalai Lama should stop separatism

PREMIER Wen Jiabao said in Beijing yesterday that talks between the central government and the Dalai Lama may continue if he is sincere and gives up his separatist attempt.

"Tibet is an inalienable part of China and issues related to Tibet are China's internal affairs which foreign countries should not interfere with," Wen told reporters at a press conference following the closing of this year's session of the National People's Congress in Beijing yesterday morning after completing its nine-day agenda.

"Our stance toward Tibet is consistent and clear cut," he said, adding the door is always open for talks with the Dalai Lama if he gives up his separatist attempt.

Wen said the central government held three talks last year with the Dalai Lama's representatives in response to their request.

"Such talks could continue as long as the Dalai Lama is sincere, otherwise no substantial results could be made," he said.

Wen said the Dalai Lama was "not a simple religious figure" but a political exile.

"The so-called government-in-exile situated in Dharamsala, India, is a defacto, theocratic regime and this illegal government was under direct leadership of the Dalai Lama," Wen said.

The monk has been traveling around the world and is quite capable of misleading some political figures, Wen said, adding some Western countries are also trying to use him.

"We should not only listen to what he has said but also look what he has done," he said.

Tibet stable

Wen said the current stability and development of Tibet has demonstrated that the Chinese central government has carried out correct policies in the region.

"The situation in Tibet on the whole is stable. The Tibetan people hope to live and work in peace and stability," Wen said.

"Both China's Constitution and the Law on Ethnic Regional Autonomy safeguard the freedom and rights of people in Tibet, particularly in religious beliefs," the premier told reporters.

He added that the central government has increased fiscal input to Tibet to accelerate the region's economic development and to improve the well-being of farmers and herders.

"The Tibet Autonomous Region will continue following the opening-up policy for the sake of its own development," Wen said.

Commenting on the Dalai Lama's claims that he has never asked Chinese troops and the Han ethnic group to leave Tibet, Wen said, "These are sheer lies."

The Dalai Lama demanded, in his "five-point peace plan" in 1987 and the "seven-point new suggestions" in 1988, that Chinese troops and military facilities be withdrawn from Tibet.

He also demanded to stop the Han ethnic group from settling in Tibet and that those who have already settled there leave.

"Those are all written words," Wen said.

"The Dalai Lama can change his course. But he can never deny what he has said," Wen said.


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