DHARAMSALA - A restless young generation of Tibetans is warning that failure to achieve Tibet's independence is creating a deep well of frustration, offering space for more radical groups in coming years.
Many exiled Tibetans would like to go further than the conciliatory "middle way" approach of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who seeks autonomy. Yet they say it is Beijing that is to blame if their exiled movement turns violent.
"The space for a militant leader is not being created by the Dalai Lama's policy, but because of China's stubborn unwillingness to negotiate with His Holiness," said Nawang Lobsang of Tibetan college students' mass movement group.
Some 150000 Tibetans live in India, many of whom fled Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.
Dharansaka has been a centre of protests since a crackdown by the Chinese after unrest in Tibetan areas in March and subsequent demonstrations against the Olympic torch route. Chinese officials met representatives of the Dalai Lama earlier this month, but many Tibetan community leaders said the talks were not serious negotiations, but merely a ploy to improve Beijing's image ahead of the Olympics.
"The Chinese are foolish because they are missing the opportunity to negotiate with a non-violent, peaceful man," Lobsang said. "They might have to deal with a radical leader in the future." - Reuters