By Tenzin Dharpo
Former Tibetan PM Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche. file photo
DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 19: Former Tibetan PM Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche who many consider to be the emissary of the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama quashed speculations surrounding a “discreet visit” to China last month. The former academician told Indian daily Amar Ujala on Saturday that he did not go to China in November.
He also said that despite much speculation in the media, the Dalai Lama has no plans to visit China. Leading Indian medias have speculated that the Dalai Lama may go to China in what was touted as a resumption of diplomatic links between Beijing and exiled Tibetan representatives.
The head-water of the much speculated incident can be traced back to a column written by a former Indian Ambassador P.Stobtan who wrote on Dec. 4, that Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche made a “discreet visit” to Kunming, China and met You Quan, head of the United Front Work Department that overseas Tibetan affairs. He also wrote that the Dalai Lama’s ‘right-hand-man’ and one of Xi Jinping’s closest aide met in November.
While there were no official statements on the matter, the head of the exile Tibetan government (known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration), Dr. Lobsang Sangay while responding to a question at the Prof. ML Sondhi Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on Dec. 14 said, “It was at most, a private visit”, and that he did not get any official confirmation on the front from Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche.
The Dalai Lama’s private office has not made any disclosure on the incident.
The Tibetan President, however, warned against “reading too much into it” saying that such developments should not be taken too seriously with regards to resolution of the Tibet issue as the previous nine rounds of dialogue between the Tibetan envoys and their Chinese counterparts have not borne result and further caused “regression” when it comes to the Tibetans exercising restrain in the global arena.