Tibet Strategy 'Failed': Lama

Leader to meet 600 exiles on Monday; he may relinquish power or take harder stance
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2008 3:03 PM CST
The Dalai Lama speaks at a press conference in Tokyo, Nov. 3, 2008. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said his "middle way" approach to secure Tibetan autonomy has failed.   (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Nearly five decades since the Dalai Lama fled Tibet, he and his followers are growing restless. Last month, the Lama announced that the “middle way” strategy he pursued for 30 years—an attempt to negotiate autonomy for Tibet rather than pure independence—had failed. “As far as I’m concerned, I have given up,” he said. Experts say China plans to keep discouraging the Lama, 73, until he dies.

On Monday, he will meet with 600 Tibetan exiles to map the movement’s future. Some say the Lama will emerge with a more hardline call for independence. Others fear that would encourage violence from younger dissidents, and further splinter the movement. The Lama may also try to shed some of his decision-making burdens. “We are too dependent on the Dalai Lama,” said one parliament-in-exile member. “At 73, even the head of a family needs some rest.”