By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala, Nov 6: Tibetan envoys are not to make any statement on the outcome of the eighth round of talks with Chinese leadership before the proposed “Special Meeting” to be held later this month, according to a statement issued Thursday by the Dalai Lama’s Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari.
Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari (2nd from L), with Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen to his right, meeting with Chinese representative Du Qinglin (3rd from L) and Zhu Weiqun on November 4, 2008 in Beijing. Envoys of the Dalai Lama ended two days of talks Wednesday with Chinese officials on the future of Tibet. The envoys say they have been advised not to make statements on the outcome of the talks before the ‘Special Meeting’ to be held later this month. (Phayul/Photo - CTA)
“As a special general meeting of the Tibetan people is being convened later this month at the suggestion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we have been advised not to make statements about our discussions before this meeting,” Mr Gyari said in the statement
The Tibetan delegation ended two days of talks Wednesday and returned to India today.
Special Envoy Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen, accompanied by three aides Sonam N. Dagpo and Bhuchung K. Tsering, both members of the Task Force on Sino-Tibetan Negotiations, and Kalsang Tsering from the Secretariat of the Task Force, left for China on October 30 to hold eighth round of talks, which was started since 2002, but only began formal discussion on Tuesday.
Hundreds of leading Tibetan exiles will gather from 17 to 22 November in Dharamsala for a special meeting to discuss the future course of action on the issue of Tibet. The meeting was called by the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama in response to lack of any signs of progress in the dialogue process and the worsening state of affairs within Tibet following the widespread anti-China protests that broke out in the region earlier this year.
Ahead of the latest round of talks with the Chinese government officials, the Dalai Lama said he was losing "faith and trust” in dealing with Chinese leadership on the issue of Tibet. In the absence of any positive response from the Chinese leadership to his “middle-way” policy, the Dalai Lama maintained that he would be left with no option but, to ask Tibetan Government-in-exile in consultation with Tibetan people to decide the future course of the dialogue process.
“If the Chinese leadership honestly engages in talks, then I may be in a position to take up this responsibility again. I will, then, sincerely engage with them,” the Dalai Lama said on October 25 at a huge function in Dharamsala.
Tibetan delegation during a meeting with Chinese representatives on November 5, 2008, in Beijing (Phayul/Photo-CTA)
After returning from their eighth round of talks, the envoys, this morning, briefed the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-exile Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche in New Delhi, and were advised to refrain from making any statement on the outcome of the talks, at least, before the forthcoming ‘Special Meeting.
Mr Gyari described the main purpose of the latest round of talks as a “follow-up” on the discussions held during the seventh round in July this year. He said his team presented a memorandum to the Chinese leadership “on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people”, but gave no further details about the move.
In Beijing, the Tibetan delegation met with Mr. Du Qinglin, Vice Chariman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Minister of the Central United Front Work Department, on Tuesday and had a “day-long discussion” Mr. Zhu Weiqun, Executive Vice Minister, and Mr. Sithar, Vice Minister of the Central United Front Work Department, on Wednesday.
“An official from the Tibet Autonomous Region, Pema Trinley, Executive Vice-Governor, was also present in the Chinese side,” Kasur Gyari said.
The delegation also had a briefing, organized by the United Front, by experts on Chinese Constitution and the Law on Regional National Autonomy at the China Tibetology Research Center.
During the visit, the Tibetan delegation was taken to the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region by Chinese authorities purportedly to demonstrate Beijing's handling of minority concerns.