Nobel laureates urge China to talk to Dalai Lama

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 20:45

Beijing: Twelve Nobel laureates including
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu have written to China`s
president urging him to open talks with the Dalai Lama after a
series of self-immolations by Tibetans.

More than 30 Tibetans -- many of them Buddhist monks and
nuns -- have set themselves alight in China`s
Tibetan-inhabited areas since the start of March 2011 to
protest Beijing`s rule.

"The international community is concerned by the drastic
expressions of resentment by the people of Tibet through
self-immolation," read the letter, addressed to President Hu

"The Chinese government should hear their voices,
understand their grievances and find a non-violent solution.
That solution is offered by our friend and brother His
Holiness the Dalai Lama," it added.

"We strongly urge the Chinese government to seize the
opportunity he provides for a meaningful dialogue. Once
formed, this channel should remain open, active and

Chinese authorities have repeatedly accused the Dalai
Lama of inciting the protests in a bid to split the vast
Himalayan region from the rest of the nation, a charge denied
by the Tibetan spiritual leader.

Many Tibetans in China complain of religious repression,
as well as a gradual erosion of their culture, which they
blame in part on a growing influx of majority Han Chinese in
areas where they live.

The letter, also signed by the East Timor President Jose
Ramos-Horta and Polish freedom fighter Lech Walesa, also
appeals to Hu to allow religious freedom and peaceful protests
in Tibetan areas and open access to foreign journalists and


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First Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 20:45

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