'Middle Way' still best for Tibet
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, said Wednesday he would not alter his non-violent quest for greater Tibetan autonomy, even after Beijing blamed him for inciting a wave of unrest.
A total of 34 Tibetans, many of them Buddhist monks and nuns, are reported to have attempted to kill themselves by setting themselves on fire in China's Tibetan-inhabited areas since the start of 2011 in protest at Chinese rule.
Many Tibetans in China complain of religious repression and a gradual erosion of their culture blamed on a growing influx of majority Han Chinese to their homeland.
Beijing has repeatedly accused the Dalai Lama of inciting the self-immolations in a bid to split the vast Himalayan region from the rest of the nation, a charge he denies.
"Recently things become very, very difficult but our stand -- no change," the Dalai Lama told the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.
"Independence, complete independence is unrealistic -- out of (the) question," the Dalai Lama said, saying his non-violent "Middle Way" of seeking change from Beijing still has the support of 90 percent of Tibetans.
"So we can continue," he said in a press conference at the conclusion of the summit.
Tibet's leadership-in-exile in India remains committed to "meaningful talk" with the Chinese government in order to establish "meaningful autonomy" for the Tibetan minority, he said.
Twelve Nobel laureates including South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu have urged China's president to resume talks with the Dalai Lama, but the Buddhist monk said that up until now, negotiations had not been productive.