Beijing, Dalai Lama representatives may talk before Olympics: Tibet campaigners

Beijing, Dalai Lama representatives may talk before Olympics: Tibet campaigners

Beijing, Dalai Lama representatives may talk before Olympics: Tibet campaigners

Updated 19 December 2011, 15:46 AEDT

Supporters of the Dalai Lama say a meeting between representatives of the Tibetan spiritual leader and China could happen soon.

Kate Saunders from the International Campaign for Tibet told Radio Australia's Connect Asia program various dates have been put forward for a meeting and it's extremely likely it will happen before the Beijing Olympics in August.

"The Chinese president, Hu Jintao, mentioned a few weeks ago that he wanted the talks to have a positive outcome.

"So far there's been no substantive, no meaningful dialogue, no commitment from the Chinese side really to take these talks seriously.

"But there is a hope from the Dalai Lama and from his envoys that at least to open the door to more talks at this time will lead to some sort of improvement from the Tibet situation, some sort of greater space for the Tibetans at a time when their living under such fear," she said.

Tourism resumes

China re-opened Tibet to foreign tourists this week, lifting a ban imposed during a crackdown on Tibetan protests three months ago.

The Government says the successful passage of the Olympic torch through Lhasa meant that a degree of stability has now returned.

Kate Saunders says, however, the capital Lhasa is still under "defacto martial law".

"The first tourist couple, two people from Sweden, came in today and China said it was the opening for foreign tourists in the first time in three months," she said.

"I think the Chinese authorities will restrict the numbers, all tourists will be kept under very close scrutiny because this is a city, and the Tibet autonomous region, still very much uinder a state of crackdown where the people are living in a real climate of fear," she said.

Ms Saunders says there are still reports of people disappearing and being taken to jails beyond the region, since the crackdown began after protests in March.

You can find the full story at the Connect Asia website: http://radioaustralia.net.au/connectasia