His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari, Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen at Kashag Secretariat in Dharamhsala on May 31, 2012. (Photo/CTA/Namgyal Tsewang)
DHARAMSHALA, June 3: In a major turn of events, Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay has accepted the resignations of Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lodi G. Gyari and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen.
The Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration in a release today said that the elected Tibetan leader “regretfully” accepted their resignations.
The two Envoys, who have led nine rounds of talks with the People’s Republic of China since 2002, cited the deteriorating situation inside Tibet and their “utter frustration” over the lack of positive response from the China as reasons for their decision.
“Given the deteriorating situation inside Tibet since 2008 leading to the increasing cases of self-immolations by Tibetans, we are compelled to submit our resignations,” Gyari and Gyaltsen said in their letter.
“Furthermore, the United Front did not respond positively to the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People presented in 2008 and its Note in 2010 … At this particular time, it is difficult to have substantive dialogue.”
The Envoys submitted their resignation during the 24th Task Force meeting held from May 30-31, 2012 in Dharamshala.
The CTA release noted that Gyari had earlier expressed his “desire” to step down in April 2011, but was “asked” to continue by the then Kalon Tripa-elect Dr Lobsang Sangay.
Dr Sangay, while accepting the resignation, praised the “invaluable” contributions of the Envoys to the Tibetan cause and said they will both continue to serve as members of the Task Force team.
“They have worked extremely hard in challenging circumstances and made earnest efforts to move the dialogue process forward and resolve the issue of Tibet peacefully,” Dr Sangay said in a statement.
“The Kashag will continue to rely on them for their wise counsel. They will remain as senior members of the Task Force team.”
The last round of talks between the Envoys of the Dalai Lama and representatives from the Chinese United Front Work Department was held more than two years ago in January 2010. Since then, the Chinese have refused to meet the Tibetan delegation.
The dialogue process has failed to yield much result, with the Envoys repeatedly stating that large differences still remained on “fundamental issues”.
In the release, the Kashag once again urged Beijing to accept the Middle-Way Approach, calling it a “win-win proposition.”
“The Tibetan leadership remains firmly committed to non-violence and the Middle-Way Approach, and strongly believes that the only way to resolve the issue of Tibet is through dialogue,” the release stated. “The Tibetan leadership considers substance to be primary and process as secondary, and is ready to engage in meaningful dialogue anywhere and at anytime.”
The Kashag said that the Task Force on Negotiations, which was set up in 1999 to assist the Dalai Lama’s envoys in the dialogue process, will be expanded and will meet again in December 2012 to “discuss the Chinese leadership transition with the hope of continuing to dialogue with the new Chinese leaders to resolve the issue of Tibet peacefully.