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    Tibetans back Dalai Lama's stance with China

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    Tibetan exiles have supported the Dalai Lama's policy of seeking greater autonomy from China, rather than full independence, a senior aide to the exiled leader said on Saturday.

    NEW DELHI, November 22 (RIA Novosti) - Tibetan exiles have supported the Dalai Lama's policy of seeking greater autonomy from China, rather than full independence, a senior aide to the exiled leader said on Saturday.

    Some 500 Tibetans gathered on Monday in the northern Indian town of Dharamasla for a congress, which lasted through Saturday, to discuss further action at talks with Beijing on greater autonomy for Tibet.

    "The delegates showed full confidence for His Holiness in the issue of seeking autonomy and supported the 'middle way' announced by the Dalai Lama," his aide Tenzin Taklha told journalists.

    The "middle way" of the Tibetans' 73-year-old spiritual leader suggests that Tibet, which became part of China in 1949, will continue a non-violent struggle to seek greater autonomy.

    However, the participants of the congress said that if these efforts failed to produce results, they would seek complete independence from China.

    "The decision which has been taken is a clear sign to the Chinese government that the Tibetan people is united, and I hope that China will understand the necessity of reaching a mutually acceptable decision on Tibet," Taklha said.

    The unrest in early March in Tibet, which started when Buddhist monks took to the streets to mark the 49th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule, left 19 people dead and 623 injured, according to official Chinese reports.

    Beijing has accused the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, of orchestrating the trouble. He has denied the allegations.

    China's handling of the protests was severely criticized in the West. Some leaders called for a boycott of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games in August if China failed to agree to hold talks with the Dalai Lama.

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