By Tenzin Dharpo
CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay speaking to the press at Gangchen Kyishong in Dharamshala on April 24, 2019. Phayul photo
DHARAMSHALA, Apr. 24: The President of the exile Tibetan government known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), Dr. Lobsang Sangay on Wednesday said that resumption of the Sino-Tibet negotiations is heavily dependent on Beijing and that his administration is always ready to hold talks to resolve the Tibetan issue.
Speaking at a press conference here in Dharamshala, the Tibetan President said, “Resumption of Sino-Tibet dialogue is 90 percent Beijing and 10 percent CTA. We are always ready to hold talks.”
While the statement by the head of the Tibetan polity is not new, he responded to questions over the currently vacant positions of ‘special envoys’ saying that there are precedents where negotiations between nations and parties have happened without specially appointed emissaries.
“When the talk happens, we are ready regardless”, he said while adding his administration has put measures in hand where absence of specially appointed envoys will not deter the actual negotiations.
Dr. Sangay who faced similar questions from Tibetan legislators last month in the parliament also said, “As far as preparations and effort for the resumption of the two sides is concerned from our side, there has been no lapse.”
On the ground, the negotiation between the two sides have stalled since 2010 after nine rounds of talk. The two envoys, Lodi G. Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen resigned in June 2012 citing lack of genuine conviction to resolve the issue at the time from Beijing.
However, the Tibetan President has said that while official channels remain stalled, there has been track one and track two channels that are being pursued by the Tibetan side, hinting at behind-the-doors efforts.
In December 2017, a former Indian Ambassador P.Stobtan wrote that former Tibetan PM Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche made a “discreet visit” to Kunming, China and met You Quan, head of the United Front Work Department that overseas Tibetan affairs. He also wrote that the Dalai Lama’s ‘right-hand-man’ and one of Xi Jinping’s closest aide met in November 2017. Days later, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche who many consider to be the emissary of the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama quashed speculations saying that he did not go to China.