By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 5: The Sino-Tibet dialogue which has been stalled since 2010 was one of the most discussed and debated issues at the 8th Tibet Support Group (TSG) Meet with many of the participants questioning the exile Tibetan leadership on why China will rekindle ties with Dharamshala and why the dialogue still remains a viable channel to resolve the Tibet issue.
The TSG meet concluded on Tuesday here with over 180 participants from 42 different countries pledging action plans, one of which was to “appeal the international community to prompt the Chinese government to enter into negotiations with Tibet”.
Veteran Indian journalist Vijay Kranti questioned why would Beijing be interested in resuming talks now that their grip on Tibet in terms of control mechanisms are well entrenched. A fellow delegate from South Africa asked what political realities does the Tibetan set up see in their favour to hope for Beijing to come half the way and hold dialogue.
A delegate from Mexico asked if there are any isolated sections within the leadership in China that is sympathetic enough to the Tibetan cause to jolt the deadlock between the two sides. Further stoking the discourse, a delegate from Hong Kong asked if Tibetan demand for autonomy is a safe bet having seen the model of ‘One country, two systems’ being disregarded blatantly by China in present day Hong Kong.
Another delegate also said that the “Tibetan side should give up any hopes that the Chinese government is negotiable” and that the Tibetan issue will not be solved as long as the Chinese communist party is in power.
The head of the Tibetan polity, however, reaffirmed that dialogue remains the only viable channel, as the Tibetan struggle is non-violent and that his side remains optimistic of Beijing rekindling contacts citing China’s quest to seek legitimacy and soft power in the global hierarchy.
Dr. Lobsang Sangay also said that the solving of the Tibetan issue is favourable to China now more than ever with a leader like the Dalai Lama who he called moderate, compassionate and reconciliatory.