By Phurbu Thinley
School children perform traditional Tibetan dance during a function celebrating the 20th anniversary of the conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on Dalai Lama, in Dharamsala, India, Thursday, December 10, 2009 (Photo: Abhishek Madhukar)
Dharamsala, Secember 10: Tibetan Government-in-Exile (TGiE) on Thursday said it was committed to talk with Beijing on the basis of the memorandum
handed to China last year.
The statement was made during a grand commemorative official function held at courtyard of the main Tibetan Temple (Tsuglagkhang
) here this morning. Thousands of Tibetan exiles gathered to celebrate the confluence of the 20th Anniversary of the conferment of Nobel peace Prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the 61st Anniversary of the World Human Rights Day.
“We are committed to talk on the basis of the memorandum given by the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai lama to the leaders of the United Front Department during their 8th meeting,” the TGiE said in its official statement today.
“The Central Tibetan Administration headed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a free spokesperson of the six million Tibetans," the statement said.
"Because of that, the concerned members of the People’s Republic of China were repeatedly explained that to resolve Tibetan issues, we will hold on to the Middle Way Approach seeking solution to the Tibet issues within the present constitution of the PRC,” it added.
Citing recent developments and ongoing repression in Tibet following last year’s anti-China uprising in the statement, the exile government said there appeared “no hope for China to change its hard-line policies to solve the appalling situation in Tibet" in the present situation.
“From our part we will continue to work towards a solution where there is no separation of Tibetans and the Chinese," the Tibetan Government said in the statement while at the same time urging Chinese leadership to respect the call “in the long-term interest of the Tibetans and the Chinese people and, to secure stability for China”.
Activists observe World Human Rights Day in Dharamsala on Thursday to campaign for the release of political prisoners in Tibet (Photo: Abhishek Madhukar)
Since late 1980s, the exile Tibetan government based in Dharamsala, a small town in northern India, has been pursuing the Middle-Way policy of the Dalai Lama that advocates patient negotiations with China for meaningful autonomy rather than outright independence for Tibet.
Direct talks between Beijing and Dharamsala was restored in 2002 after a previous one went deadlock eights years earlier.
Since then eight rounds of talks and one informal meeting were held between the Tibetan and Chinese representatives to find a negotiated solution to the issue of Tibet. The talks however failed to make any positive breakthrough.
At the last round of talks held in Beijing in October 2008, a memorandum was handed to China on how to implement the constitution to give Tibet cultural and spiritual autonomy.
China categorically rejected the memorandum saying it carried elements of hidden separatist agenda and the talks came to an abrupt halt since then.
Tibetan side refutes the Chinese allegation. It says the articles of the proposed memorandum were prepared in accordance with the related provisions enshrined in the Constitution of the PRC and its laws on National Regional Autonomy, and claims China has rejected the proposal without providing any “legal and rational explanations".
While December 10 is commemorated as the World Human Rights Day, for Tibetans it is also an auspicious occasion to celebrate the conferment of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama, revered by Tibetans as their undisputed leader and seen around the world as the symbol of the Tibetan freedom struggle, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his consistent nonviolent efforts to free Tibet from Chinese rule.
In Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile in northern India, and elsewhere around the world Tibetan exiles hold special occasion today. As part of the celebration, Tibetans also organise various activities to observe World Human Rights Day to highlight the plight of the Tibetan people and situation inside Tibet.