By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala, June 30: His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Special Envoy Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen will arrive in China today for the formal seventh round of discussion with representatives of the Chinese leadership, the office of the Dalai Lama said Monday in a press statement.
The Dalai Lama’s Special Envoy Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari (L) and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen briefing media, following “informal meeting” with Chinese representatives on May 4, at Lhakpa Tsering Hall, Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR), Central Tibetan Administration, Dharamsala, India, Thursday, May 8, 2008 (File photo - Phayul)
“The discussions will take place on July 1 and 2 in Beijing,” Chhime R. Chhoekyapa Secretary to His Holiness the Dalai Lama said in the statement, describing the meeting as “taking place at a crucial time”.
“His Holiness the Dalai Lama has instructed the envoys to make every effort to bring about tangible progress to alleviate the difficult situation for Tibetans in their homeland,” the statement said.
“It is hoped that this round of talks will contribute in resolving the long simmering issue through dialogue in the interest of stability, unity and harmony of all nationalities in the People’s Republic of China,” it stated.
The envoys are being accompanied by senior assistants Sonam N. Dagpo and Bhuchung K. Tsering, both members of the Tibetan Task Force on Sino-Tibetan Negotiations, and Jigmey Passang, from the Secretariat of the Tibetan Task Force, according to the statement.
The latest two-day meeting is the first formal round of talks between the two sides after wide spread anti-China unrest in Tibet that first broke out in capital Lhasa on March 10.
The Chinese government claim at least 22 people have died in Lhasa “violence”. However, the Tibetan Government-in-Exile based in India claim Chinese armed troops have killed more than 200 Tibetans, injuring hundreds more and jailing several others for taking part in peaceful demonstrations, which it said were a result of “long-simmering resentment of the Tibetan people under the Chinese governance”.
The Dalai Lama later appealed to the Chinese leadership to "stop using force" and to address the deep-rooted resentment of Tibetans through dialogue with the Tibetan people and repeatedly urged fellow Tibetans “not to resort to violence."
The Tibetan representatives earlier on 4 May 2008 had had an “informal meeting” with the representatives of the Chinese leadership in Shenzhen, China, where they met with Executive Vice Minister Zhu Weiqun and Vice Minister Sithar of the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party.
Speaking later to media, Mr Gyari described the talks as a "step in the right direction” and maintained that the main purpose of the “informal meeting” was to “discuss the critical situation in Tibet”. During the meeting, both sides agreed to continue the Sino-Tibetan dialogue process started in 2002 and to hold the seventh round of discussions at an “early and mutually convenient date”.
The sixth round of dialogue took place in Beijing in July last year.