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NEWS - Nobel Laureates Urge China t
- Subject: NEWS - Nobel Laureates Urge China t
- From: Rangoonp@xxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 22:25:00
Subject: NEWS - Nobel Laureates Urge China to Open Tibet Talks
Nobel Laureates Urge China to Open Tibet Talks
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Nov 6 (Reuters) - Seven Nobel
Peace Prize laureates, including the Dalai Lama, urged
China on Friday to open formal talks "to find a peaceful
resolution to the Tibet issue."
Chinese President Jiang Zemin earlier this year offered to
enter into talks on the condition that the Dalai Lama
recognise Taiwan and Tibet, which was invaded by
Communist Chinese troops in 1950, as parts of China.
"I'm not seeking independence. I am seeking autonomous
self-rule," the Dalai Lama said on the closing day of a
two-day conference on peace and reconciliation at the
University of Virginia in Charlottesville, a college town in
The Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile since 1959 and
received the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize for a plan that would
make Tibet an international peace zone, declined to
comment on whether he had accepted the Chinese view that
the Himalayan region has always been part of China.
"Now is not the time for me to speak," he said.
The Dalai Lama has renounced Tibetan independence as a
goal for the future, and on Friday he said Tibetans would
demand control over foreign affairs and defence if a system
of autonomous self-rule could be negotiated with China.
John Ackerly, president of the Washington-based
International Campaign for Tibet, said on Wednesday the
Dalai Lama might offer a gesture to accelerate talks with
Chinese government during his nine-day visit to the United
The Dalai Lama expects to meet President Bill Clinton at the
White House early next week and may ask the U.S.
administration to find out what the Chinese would offer in
return if he makes a concession, Ackerly said.
In a joint statement, the Nobel laureates reaffirmed their
commitment to peace, human rights and reconciliation
worldwide and included an expression of support for Tibet.
"We urge that the Chinese government enter into
negotiations that will serve the interests of the Tibetan
Chinese peoples. Also, that these negotiations be conducted
expeditiously as an indication of China's good will and
sincere intent," the statement said.
Besides the Dalai Lama, the signing peace prize winners
were land-mine opponent Jody Williams; Jose Ramos-Horta,
a campaigner for East Timorese independence;
indigenous-rights defender Rigoberta Menchu of Guatemala;
democrat and former Costa Rican President Oscar
Arias-Sanchez; apartheid foe Archbishop Desmond Tutu of
South Africa; and Northern Ireland peace activist Betty
A representative of the absent Nobel laureate Aung San Suu
Kyi, leader of Myanmar's political opposition, and Bobby
Muller, co-founder of the International Campaign to Ban
Landmines, also signed the statement.