By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala, Feb 1: Envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama said Tuesday that the only means to resolve the issue of Tibet was through dialogue with the exiled Tibetan leader.
Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari (L) and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen at a press briefing on the 9th round of Tibet talks in Dharamsala, India, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 (Photo: Phayul)
In a statement
issued here today, the two envoys said they had urged China in talks last week to stop labelling the exiled Tibetan leader a separatist, and to engage with him on resolving Tibet's future.
"We called upon the Chinese side to stop these baseless accusations against His Holiness and labelling him a separatist," the statement said.
"Instead, we urged the Chinese leadership to work with him to find a mutually acceptable solution to the Tibetan problem based on the memorandum," it added.
“His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaks on behalf of the Tibetan people, with whom he has a deep and historical relationship and one based on full trust.
"It cannot be disputed that His Holiness legitimately represents the Tibetan people, and he is certainly viewed as their true representative and spokesperson by them.
"It is indeed only by means of dialogue with the Dalai Lama that the Tibetan issue can be resolved. The recognition of this reality is important," the envoys said in the statement.
Special Envoy Lodi G. Gyari, however, said he was “disappointed” by the “attitude and rigidity in the behaviour” of the Chinese leadership in their willingness to tackle Tibet issue, indicating that the talks that resumed last week after a break of 15 months had apparently failed to make much headway.
In the statement, the envoys maintained that a major difference between the two sides was the “conflicting perspectives” on the current situation inside Tibet.
“So, in order to have a common understanding of the real situation, we suggested a common effort to study the actual reality on the ground, in the spirit of seeking truth from facts,” the statement said.
“This will help both sides to move beyond each others' contentions," it added.
China on Tuesday said it "dismissed the Dalai Lama's claim as being "legal representative of Tibetans". It also said the "private representatives" of the Dalai Lama had "no legal status" to discuss the affairs about Tibet.
The envoys said they had made it clear to China that the Dalai Lama had no personal demands to make and was solely concerned with the rights and welfare of the Tibetan people.
"The fundamental issue that needs to be resolved is the faithful implementation of genuine autonomy that will enable the Tibetan people to govern themselves in accordance with their own genius and needs," their statement said.
“Since His Holiness the Dalai Lama has consistently made his position clear on the future of Tibet within the framework of the People’s Republic of China, given political will on the Chinese leadership’s side we do not see any reason why we cannot find a common ground on these issues,” it said.
China on Monday said
that the door for contacts and talks remained open, but no concessions would be made on issues concerning China’s control of Tibet.
Du Qinglin, the head of the Chinese government representatives for the talks, said that the so-called "Greater Tibet" and "high-level autonomy" violated China's Constitution and only “if the Dalai lama completely abandoned such claims, could there be a foundation for contacts and talks”, according to a Chinese state media report.
Reacting to the Chinese counterpart’s remarks, Mr Gyari said, there was “no such thing” as “Smaller Tibet and Greater Tibet” from the Tibetan viewpoint. “Our belief is that all Tibetan areas must be under a uniform policy and a single administration,” he said.
He, however, said both sides had agreed during the talks on the importance of carrying forward the dialogue process.
“So our commitment to dialogue remains very firm irrespective of Chinese attitude,” Mr Gyari said.
“During the talks, they (Chinese counterparts) also conveyed to us repeatedly about the importance of continuing the dialogue process," Gyari said.
“But this process of dialogue to be able to continue, we told them there should be some tangible progress,” he added.
The Tibetan envoys said they also submitted a “Note” relating to the “Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People
" to the Chinese government representatives. They said the note contained “seven points" to address the fundamental issues raised by the Chinese leadership during the last round of talks and some constructive suggestions for a way forward in the dialogue process.