The Times of India

BANGALORE: For the first time since he fled Tibet 41 years ago and took refuge in India, the Dalai Lama has agreed to sit across the negotiating table with China. He is willing to send a delegation to China to discuss greater autonomy for Tibet.

"There is too much suspicion on the Chinese government side," he told a gathering here on a recent visit. "Whether China agrees or not, there is a problem and it is sensitive and delicate. Let us meet face-to- face to explain the reality," he said.

China, he said, should adopt a more realistic policy if the issue was to be solved peacefully. The middle path was the best option to ensure that Tibet would not be separated from China, he added.

The Dalai Lama's offer came in response to feelers that China had sent to him. "The Chinese government had recently invited my brother for a discussion. In return they sent a message," he said, adding that he agreed to send a delegation.

A meeting was essential to find a peaceful solution "for the long-term interest of China," he said.