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Tibet provisional govt to decide on China talks soon

DHARAMSALA, India (Reuters) - The Tibetan government-in-exile said on Sunday it would make a final decision on whether to continue dialogue with China to ease tension in Tibet after their next encounter ends in October.

Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile Karma Chophel addresses a news conference at the European Parliament in Brussels in this March 26, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/Files

“I think the talks may go on, but these talks will only be about talks. They (China) will not really give us anything, concede anything,” Karma Chophel, speaker of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile, said in Dharamsala, the base of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

The proposed eighth round of talks on easing tension in Tibet had been scheduled for October, officials said.

“If in the eighth round of talks we see a ray of hope, then there will be a ninth round of talks, otherwise not,” Chophel told Reuters in Dharamsala.

The decision to review the dialogue process was taken ahead of a crucial meeting on Monday, when government officials are to finalise the agenda of a special meeting ordered by the Dalai Lama to discuss the Tibet crisis.

The Dalai Lama, who was treated in a Mumbai hospital last month after complaining of abdominal discomfort, has cancelled a planned tour of Europe and will attend the special meeting in November or December, Chophel said.

The extraordinary gathering is to discuss political unrest and the future of the Tibetan movement, he added.

Several younger Tibetans would like to go further than the conciliatory “middle way” approach of the Dalai Lama, who seeks autonomy.

The extraordinary meeting comes after months of anti-China protests across the world, sparked off by unrest in Tibet in March which China suppressed.

Beijing says the Dalai Lama’s followers fomented riots and protests across the mountainous region in a bid to derail last month’s Olympics Games, a charge the exiled spiritual leader rejected.

Envoys of the Dalai Lama and China met in July to defuse the situation, the latest of several rounds of talks since 2002, but the Tibetan envoys appeared disillusioned.

They said China lacked serious commitment to solve the crisis after their return.