The Dalai Lama and other exiled Tibetan leaders will on Thursday launch a renewed push for autonomy within China as they seek to end a wave of gruesome self-immolations against perceived oppression in their homeland by Beijing.
The leaders will meet in the northern Indian hill station of Dharamsala to kick off a media campaign promoting the "Middle Way" for peaceful autonomy for Tibetans, in a bid to pile global pressure on Beijing to revisit the issue.
The prime minister of Tibet's government in exile, Lobsang Sangay, is expected to host a press conference, after taking over the job of pushing for autonomy from the revered spiritual leader.
But the Dalai Lama, who stepped down from political duties in 2011, stole the spotlight on the eve of the launch by urging China to embrace democracy in comments marking the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner offered prayers for the hundreds of people -- by some estimates, more than 1,000 -- who died in Beijing on June 3-4, 1989 when Communist authorities sent in troops to crush their peaceful pro-democracy protests.