Resume talks with Dalai Lama, aides, US tells China

Dharamsala (IANS) The US Ambassador-At-Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback has said the US will continue to support the Dalai Lama's 'middle-way' approach and urged China to resume formal dialogue with him or his representatives, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said on Monday.

Brownback said this during a visit to Taiwan for the 2019 Regional Religious Freedom Forum, last week, where President Tsai Ing-wen was also present.

Brownback noted in his speech March 2018 marked "the 60th anniversary of His Holiness the Dalai Lama being forced into exile."

According to a CTA post, the US Ambassador criticised China's occupation of Tibet saying it "demonised and criminalised the Buddhist faith that lies at the core of Tibetan civilisation".

"Tibetans understandably continue to lament his absence from Tibet and long for the day that he is able to return and resume his rightful place as their most important religious leader," he said.

"We urge the People's Republic of China to resume formal dialogue with His Holiness or his representatives immediately," he said and added we would continue to support the Dalai Lama's middle-way approach for meaningful autonomy for all Tibetans across the Tibetan Plateau, while remaining a part of the China. 

Condemning the Chinese government, he cited persecution of Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang, Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners and Christian groups in China.

Some 60 years ago, around 80,000 Tibetans along with the Dalai Lama fled Lhasa for India after a failed uprising against the Communist rule over Tibet.

China and the Dalai Lama's envoys have held nine rounds of talks since 2002 to resolve the Tibetan issue.

In the last round of talks -- the ninth -- in Beijing in January 2010, the CTA submitted an "explanatory" note to the Chinese leadership to clarify its stand on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people.

Since then, there has been no movement forward.

The Tibetan exile administration, called the CTA, is based in this northern Indian hill town, where the spiritual leader also lives.

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