གཟའ་ཉི་མ། ༢༠༢༤/༠༣/༠༣

Dalai Lama Pays Tribute to Victims of China Earthquake

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has called for prayers for the thousands of victims of last week's earthquake in China.

The Dalai Lama greeted thousands gathered at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate Monday as he wrapped up a five-day visit to Germany. Many in the huge crowd waved Tibetan flags as he said he is not seeking the separation of Tibet from China, but instead is calling for more autonomy from Beijing.

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has told an audience in Germany that the 21st century should be one of dialogue the way the 20th century was one of bloodshed.

He also met with German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul -- the only member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet available to meet with him. Ms. Merkel is visiting Latin America.

China protested the talks with the German official, saying it violates Berlin's commitment to a "one-China" policy. Ms. Merkel angered China last year by meeting with the Dalai Lama and voicing support for Tibetan autonomy.

The Tibetan spiritual leader travels next to London, where he will meet later this week with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

China -- under intense foreign pressure -- has agreed to hold new talks with representatives of the Dalai Lama on Tibet's status. The agreement came after a violent Chinese crackdown in Tibet in March that Tibetans say resulted in scores of deaths. China blamed the unrest on Tibetan separatists.