Bush Urges China-Tibet Dialogue

Protesting monks disrupt tour of foreign journalists in Lhasa
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2008 10:15 PM CDT
Tibetan exiles pray during a candlelit vigil in Dharmsala, India. Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said Thursday he would meet Chinese President Hu Jintao.   (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)
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(Newser) – President Bush called Chinese President Hu Jintao today and urged Beijing to begin talks with the Dalai Lama, the BBC reports. Bush also pressed for greater access to Tibet for journalists and diplomats, the White House said. China today allowed a small group of foreign reporters into Lhasa for the first time since protests began, but Tibetan monks  disrupted their tour of a temple with chants of "Tibet is not free," the AP notes.

The protesting monks also told reporters that the Dalai Lama had nothing to do with the recent unrest, despite Beijing's claims to the contrary. Government handlers tried to move journalists away when the monks appeared. "They want us to crush the Dalai Lama and that is not right," one monk said during the 15-minute outburst. About 30 monks were involved.