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Speaking to reporters in New Delhi on Sunday, the Dalai Lama said: “I have always supported that the Olympic Games should take place in China.” The 72-year-old spiritual leader has called for talks with China to negotiate autonomy for Tibet instead of full independence.

Through the Xinhua news agency, China said yesterday:

“The political monk’s statement of supporting the Beijing Olympic Games has been proven a lie; his followers boycotted the torch relay and resorted to violence in Lhasa and elsewhere.”

The flame is slated to pass over Mount Everest in early May, and on through Tibet’s capital, Lhasa, the following month.

Human rights and Tibetan activists proposed an international boycott of the global sporting event. But governments have avoided such calls.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday urged the Chinese government to pursue a more “sustainable” policy toward Tibet and to talk to the Dalai Lama.

“We are going to continue to encourage that dialogue because ultimately that is going to be the only policy that is sustainable in Tibet,” Miss Rice said at a news conference with India’s external affairs minister.

On the streets of Dharamsala, a charged atmosphere reigned.

Local activists have plastered grisly posters of purported victims of Chinese brutality. Some appear to have been beaten to death, while others show fatal bullet wounds to the chest and head.

“The Chinese government says things have calmed down, but we know it is very volatile in Tibet right now,” said Chukora Aglof, a researcher at the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy.

Saffron-robed monks waving Tibetan flags continue to march throughout the day, chanting slogans into loudspeakers: “Stop killing Tibetans” and “Long live the Dalai Lama.”

A short walk from the spiritual leader’s residence, dozens of Tibetan students and nuns remained on a hunger strike.

“If the Chinese don’t stop killing, we won’t stop our hunger strike,” said Jigshe Tsering, a student who fled Tibet four years ago.

Nicholas Kralev contributed to this report from Washington.