By Mohammed Abbas
Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama speaks during an interview in the Houses of Parliament in central London June 20, 2012.
LONDON — Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said on Wednesday resuming talks with China on his homeland’s future was futile unless it adopted a “realistic” stance, adding it was useless trying to convince Beijing he was not seeking full independence.
In comments likely to enrage a Chinese leadership already angry over his trip to Britain, the Dalai Lama also said a shift towards democracy and better human rights in China was inevitable and the Chinese people “really want change”.
The 76-year-old monk was speaking in Britain, which he is touring to spread a message of non-violence and compassion, touching upon issues including European economic woes, which he said were partly caused by “greed and ignorance”.
“The issue is (the people’s) basic right. In future, unless they start a realistic approach for the Tibetan problem inside Tibet, there’s not much to discuss,” the Dalai Lama told Reuters in an interview at Britain’s houses of parliament.
Beijing has snubbed British officials, warned of “serious consequences” and, according to an unsourced report in the British media that China did not confirm, threatened to relocate its Olympic team from the northern British city of Leeds in protest at the Dalai Lama’s meetings with British officials.
China considers him a separatist for his long struggle for Tibetan autonomy, and tensions over the issue are at their highest in years after a spate of protests and self-immolations by Tibetan activists, which have prompted a Chinese security crackdown.
China has ruled Tibet since 1950, when Communist troops marched in and announced its “peaceful liberation”.
Beijing insists Chinese rule has brought development and prosperity and denies trampling Tibetan rights.
By Mohammed Abbas