April 14th, 2008 00:00 EST
Tibet violence could lead to Dalai Lama's resignation
The Dalai Lama has threatened to resign as leader of Tibet's exiled government if violence in his homeland spirals out of control.
The Nobel Peace laureate made the comment Sunday at a news conference in Seattle, Washington, where he has been attending a five-day "Seeds of Compassion" conference.
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader denied Chinese claims that he has called for Tibet to split from China and that he is behind the recent turmoil. The Dalai Lama said the whole world knows that he is seeking autonomy for the region.
Also Sunday, the Chinese media accused the Dalai Lama of encouraging violence in a drive for Tibet's independence.
The Dalai Lama said Saturday the idea that he has "militant power" is "nonsense."
Also Sunday, Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern downplayed reports of a diplomatic dispute with China after Environmental Minister John Gormley accused Beijing of human rights abuses in Tibet and referred to the region as a "country."
Gormley, who made his remarks at a Green Party convention late Saturday, also called on the Chinese government to enter into a dialogue with the Dalai Lama.
Ahern said Gormley's remarks on dialogue with the Dalai Lama were in line with Irish government policy.
But China's envoy to Ireland, Liu Biwei, walked out on the speech in protest.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.