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11march2010422A group of Chinese delegates, who paid a week-long visit to Dharamshala this week, expressed their "strong support to the Tibetan people's aspiration for genuine autonomy in Tibet".

Dharamshala: The delegation comprised of 23 members representing Chinese democratic organisations based in 8 different countries, namely the US, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Germany, Canada and Hong Kong.

Chin Jin of the Federation For A Democratic China, said: "The visit to Dharamshala aims to seek another opportunity that the Tibet issue could be well addressed not only by Chinese democrats, but also by the whole world."

"We fully understand that the Tibetan issue have been in existence for over 50 years. We didn't see any sign that the Tibetan issue could be solved in a near future, the reason being the nine rounds of talks between the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government achieved almost nothing. So we are looking forward to some other ways to make a change," Jin told a group of reporters on Thursday.

Responding to a question on their efforts to promote democracy in China, Mr Jin said: "Democracy is an aspiration of the Chinese people, and the Chinese people have been struggling for this over hundred years. What we can do is pretty little but it is still very meaningful, and we wish the whole world could address this. We appeal to the world leaders to bring transition from closed society to open society and from autocracy to democracy for China and the Chinese people. The world leaders should have their obligations to help the Chinese and Tibetan people to achieve democracy and meaningful autonomy."

"Democracy in China and meaningful autonomy for Tibet are two sides of one same coin. So we should work together," Jin added.

Weiming Chen, the Chinese artisan who designed unveiled his sculpture "Tibetan Road to Freedom" at the Tibet Museum on 10 March, explained the meaning of the monument. The sculpture describes the precarious situation of Tibetans under the government oppression in Tibet.

11march2010421Another delegate opined: "We feel that the Tibetan issue and democratisation of China is actually a same issue because the Chinese government took away the freedom from all the people they rule. To Han people, when they take away our freedom of choice and self determination, it become a issue of democratisation because it violates the principle of democracy. It is same for the Tibetan people when their collective interests and freedom are taken away by the Chinese government. The fundamental principle is that the rulers should get consent of the people they rule, otherwise they don't have the right to rule them."

"We feel that the Tibetan issue may be a key to the democratisation of whole China, because the Tibetan issue has been brought to the international attention and the whole world knows the issue. So we in the democratic movement come out to support the Tibetan people, and we think if Tibetans win the freedom, that will bring us to a much better position or give us much better opportunity to bring freedom for all the Chinese people," he added.

Wong Min, President of the US-based Alliance For A Democratic China, said: "The delegates feel privileged to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama and expressed hope that the they will learn a lot from his wisdom and sense of humour."

"We believe that when China becomes democratic Han Chinese will live harmoniously with the Tibetan people, Min added.

The delegates joined the Tibetans in commemorating the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day on 10 March. Besides meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama, they visited Tibetan schools, medical and human rights institutions during the visit.