Dharamsala, January 27 – As the Tibetan envoys began their China visit yesterday the Tibetan Prime Minister hoped the visit would be an opportunity for his side to clarify and explain certain contents of the “Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy” that the Chinese side had “misinterpreted” and rejected at the eighth round of talks.
Talking to the Voice of Tibet radio service Monday, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche who heads the Task Force for Negotiations, said he did not hope this visit will be a turning point or will bring immediate or drastic change in the dialogue process. However, the former academician said the resumption of talks in itself was a relief for many who were worried by the standoff since November 2008.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Government said yesterday that the Tibetan side should “cherish the opportunity of fresh contacts and respond positively to the request of the central government,” reported China's official mouthpiece Xinhua. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said Tuesday that the Chinese side had arranged for the talks on the request of the Tibetan side.
China insists it is dealing with the private representatives of the Dalai Lama while the Tibetan side maintains the issue is not just about the Dalai Lama’s person but of the six million Tibetans’ future.
The envoys will not be visiting Tibet this time, according to Rinpoche.