Herald Sun today......
"CHINESE officials will soon meet a representative of the Dalai Lama in what would be the first such known encounter since last month's deadly unrest.
The surprise move was welcomed by a spokesman for the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader as a step in the right direction.
China has come under intense foreign pressure to hold talks with the Dalai Lama since rioting erupted in the regional capital, Lhasa, last month, spreading to other areas populated by Tibetans.
Beijing's crackdown in the Himalayan region, as well as criticism of its human rights record, triggered protests that have dogged the Olympic torch as it travels the world before China hosts the Games in August.
"Only face-to-face meetings can lead to a resolution of the Tibetan issue," spokesman Tenzin Takla said.
"His Holiness, since March 10 when (anti-Chinese) protests started, had been making all efforts to reach out to the Chinese Government, and he hopes the Tibetan issue can be resolved only through dialogue," he said from Dharamshala, seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
Xinhua news agency quoted an unidentified Chinese official saying that in view of the Dalai Lama's repeated requests, "the relevant department of the central Government will have contact and consultation with Dalai's private representative in the coming days".
"It is hoped that through consultation, the Dalai side will take credible moves to stop activities aimed at splitting China, stop plotting and inciting violence, and stop disrupting and sabotaging the Beijing Olympic Games so as to create conditions for talks."
Beijing had resisted pressure to meet the Dalai Lama and accused him of instigating violence."