By Tenzin Dharpo
Former Special envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen and President Dr. Lobsang Sangay at the 32nd task force on dialouge meet at Asia Helath Resort on December 11, 2019. Photo- tibet.net
DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 11: The 32nd session of the core group that oversees dialogue on the Tibetan side for the Sino-Tibet negotiations is underway here at Dharamshala, considered the virtual capital of the exile Tibetan set up. The two-day meet comprising a handful of noted individuals began on Wednesday at the Asia Health Resorts here.
“The Task Force will hold an in-depth discussion on the situation inside Tibet, the perceptible shifts in the global political landscape and the overall prospects for the resumption of dialogue between Dharamshala and Beijing to resolve the protracted issue of Tibet,” the Central Tibetan Administration run Tibet.net said of the closed door meeting today.
The deliberations headed by the CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay is also joined by former special envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen, Chinese section Secretary at the Dalai Lama’s private office Ngaba Tsegyam, former CTA bureaucrat Thubten Samphel, among others.
Speaking to the media, the Secretary of the International Relations wing of the exile Tibetan government Karma Choeying said that although the meeting has no “special agendas” other than the previously discussed issues such as the geopolitical dynamics between the US to China and China’s relation with regions such as Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Choeying said that the meeting is not convened to appoint new envoys.
There has been no official contact between the Tibetan side and Beijing since 2010 marking an impasse between the two sides. In June 2012, the two Special Envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, late Lodi G. Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, who had led nine rounds of talks with the People’s Republic of China since 2002, resigned from their positions. They cited the deteriorating situation inside Tibet and their “utter frustration” over the lack of positive response from the China as reasons for their decision to resign.
The vacant positions for the special envoys, observers and Tibetan lawmakers, said were indicative of complete breakdown of communications between the side. However, the Dalai Lama in October 2019 said that he and the President of the Central Tibetan Administration Dr. Lobsang Sangay discussed that appointing new envoys may result in outright rejection from Beijing.
“If we appoint envoys representing the exile administration, that may prompt Chinese leadership to reject them blatantly. The alternative is to explore the same channels of communication that were established through me and maintain that. I have been approached by influential Chinese businessmen and even government officials,” the Tibetan leader said adding that outright rejection of new envoys will be counter productive to the process.
The Tibetan President in an interview with News18 on April 3, 2018 said, “There has been no official communication between China and the CTA since 2010. But there are back channel talks that happen. People keep coming from the Chinese side and we are very transparent with them.”