NEW DELHI, Sept 24, Reuter: The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibet, has accepted China’s offer of direct talks and his Government in Exile said it believed Peking sincerely wanted to negotiate.

“Obviously we hold different views and stands on many issues but we are prepared to discuss and resolve these through direct dialogue,” it said.

The Chinese Embassy in Delhi issued the text of a message to the Dalai Lama on Friday, offering direct talks as long as he gave up the idea of independence for Tibet.

The Government in Exile, based in the Indian Hill Town Dharamsala since the Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, made no mention of independence in its statement.

It said his June 15 offer to accept self Government within China was the only reasonable basis for solving the Sino-Tibetan issue, China has rejected this, saying the Dalai Lama had not relinquished the concept of Tibetan Independence.

“If the Dalai Lama is sincere in improving relations with the Central Government and really concerned for the happiness of the Tibetan people, for economic development and prosperity of the Tibetan Nationality, he should truly give up the idea of the Independence of Tibet,” China’s message said.

It said talks could be held in Peking, Hong Kong or any Chinese Diplomatic Mission and the Dalai Lama could choose the venue,

China, which occupied Tibet in 1949, says 11 people died in violent Pro Independence protests in the Tibetan Capital Lhasa last October and earlier this year. Tibetan exiles say the death toll was much higher. HELP STOP SIKH GENOCIDEIN INDIA

Article extracted from this publication >> September 30, 1988