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CTA’s Strategic planning committee holds maiden meeting

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The strategic planing committee members and advisors in Dharamshala on Tuesday (Photo/CTA)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Nov 16: The newly established ‘Strategic Planning Committee’ a body that deliberates on matter related to Sino-Tibet dialogue held its first meeting on Tuesday with its members and advisors, presided over by CTA President Penpa Tsering here in Dharamshala. The 16th Kashag (Cabinet) earlier in August announced the dissolution of the Task Force on Sino-Tibetan negotiations established in 1988 and set up the strategic planning committee in its place.

“The main purpose of the committee is to apprise Sikyong on the issues related to Tibetan cause, and also to advise him on matters related to strategic planning and advocacy,” CTA spokesperson Tenzin Lekshay from DIIR spoke to Phayul.

The three-day meeting comes shortly after the recent online exchange between the spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and journalists in Japan, which compelled a response from the Chinese government. The Chinese foreign spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that the path of dialogue has always remained open, but is only limited to the topic of Dalai Lama’s succession and not about the “so-called Tibet issue”.

“Regarding the recent observations from China, there is nothing new as such, because they have been giving that statement since the 1980s. Rather than talking about the real issue of Tibet, they are just trying to give an excuse of putting His Holiness’ issue on the table,” Spokesperson Lekshay further remarked, adding that the meeting intends to deal with larger issues regarding the Sino- Tibetan conflict, so that the committee will have a robust understanding of the overall geopolitical nature of the cause.

The maiden meeting has been attended by all the members of the committee including advisors Kasur Tempa Tsering, Kasur Dongchung Ngodup, and former special envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen. The secretaries and representatives from various offices were also in attendance; Karma Rinchen from Dept. of Security, Karma Choeying from DIIR, Dawa Tsering from Tibet Policy Institute, Tashi Gyatso from Kashag Secretariat, and Ngawa Tsegyam from Gaden Phodrang office.

 “We are committed to resolve the Sino-Tibet conflict as the Chinese leaders need to understand that we are the voices of Tibetans inside Tibet. However, the ball is in China’s court to resolve the Tibetan issue. Unless it is resolved, we will continue to raise our issues and concerns under the international limelight,” CTA spokesperson reasserted. The talks between the Dalai Lama and Chinese government representatives have stalled since 2010 after nine rounds of talk. No official contact has been made between Beijing and the representatives of the Dalai Lama since then.

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