DHARAMSHALA, January 2: The two-day meeting of the Tibetan Task Force on Negotiations ended yesterday here in the exile headquarters, chaired by Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people.
In a release today, the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration said the meeting, held after a gap of seven months, reviewed the “deepening political crisis in Tibet, specifically the tragic spate of self-immolations.”
The CTA said the meeting discussed the “urgent need for peaceful resolution” of the issue of Tibet and also deliberated on the changes in the Chinese leadership and their implications on the Tibetan issue.
“Substantive assessments were made on the genesis of the Tibetan dialogue process, its future prospects and challenges, based on the situation in Tibet, China and in the international community,” the CTA said.
The Kashag (cabinet) noted that the “procedure for appointment of envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was also discussed” during the meeting held from December 31, 2012 to January 1, 2013.
The release further said “various constructive opinions” were expressed to continue the stalled dialogue process without spelling out details.
“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 exile administration said.
“Substance being primary and process secondary, we are ready to engage in meaningful dialogue anywhere and at anytime,” Sikyong Sangay stated.
The CTA also renewed its “appeal to Tibetans not to undertake drastic actions, including self-immolations” and welcomed the recent statements of concern by the United Nations and governments on the crisis in Tibet.
The Kashag added that the Task Force on Negotiations will be “reconstituted with additional new members, and a meeting will be convened soon after the National People’s Congress session in March this year, when the new Chinese leadership will assume full responsibility.”
Speaking to Phayul, Thubten Samphel, member of the Task Force said a total of 11 members, including the two former Envoys of the Dalai Lama, Kalons of the Departments of Security and Information and International Relations, former Kalon Tashi Wangdi, were among those who attended the meeting.
The Task Force on Negotiation was set up in 1999 to assist the Dalai Lama’s envoys in the dialogue process with the Chinese government.
The last round of talks between the Envoys of the Dalai Lama and representatives from the Chinese United Front Work Department was held three years ago in January 2010. Since then, China has refused to meet Tibetan representatives.
In May last year, the two Envoys of the Dalai Lama, who had led nine rounds of talks with China since 2002, resigned citing the deteriorating situation inside Tibet and their “utter frustration” over the lack of positive response from China.