Tibetans to Remain Committed to Dialogue With Chinese Govt

Dharamshala: “We have clearly expressed to the Chinese government of our firm commitment to continuing the dialogue process to resolve the issue of Tibet,” the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama said Tuesday, adding that “the Chinese leadership too attaches great importance to engage in talks with us.” (Click here to watch press conference)

Addressing the media here on latest round of discussions on Tibet in China from 26 – 31 January, Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari said: “We have absolutely made it clear to the Chinese leadership that the issues that we discussed are about the future of Tibetan people and their well being. We strongly reiterated there is no personal matter concerning the future status of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”

Terming the projection of Dalai Lama’s personal issue by the Chinese government as mere political rhetoric, Kasur Lodi Gyari said the personal issue of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was never on the agenda of our discussions throughout the process since the contact with the Chinese government was established in 1979.

Emphasising “direct dialogue between the Chinese government and the Tibetan leadership as the only way to find a solution to issue of Tibet”, Kasur Lodi Gyari said “the sincerity and efforts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama have sustained the dialogue process and contacts with the Chinese government under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping.”

“It is our firm belief that direct dialogue between the Chinese government and Tibetan leadership is the only way forward to resolve the Tibetan issue. In order of us to continue the dialogue process there should be some progress and tangible steps to be taken by the Chinese government,” he said.

“The fundamental issue that needs to be resolved is the faithful implementation of genuine autonomy that will enable the Tibetan people to govern themselves in accordance with their own genius and needs,” he said.

Welcoming the Fifth Tibet Work Forum for its focus on issues of development in all the Tibetan inhabited areas in Tibet, the envoys spoke of their “strong belief that all Tibetan areas must be under a uniform policy and a single administration. If we take away the political slogans, many of the issues that have been prioritised by the forum are similar to the basic needs of the Tibetan people outlined in our memorandum,” Kasur Lodi Gyari said.

The envoys offered suggestions to the Chinese leadership on common effort to study the actual reality on the ground, in the spirit of seeking truth from facts. This will help both the sides to move beyond each other’s contentions, he said.

The envoys urged the Chinese government to positively and sincerely to the note presented to them relating to the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for All Tibetans.

Special Envoy Lodi Gyari said he was “disappointed and worried about the sense of great arrogance of the Chinese government on the future meeting between President Obama and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.” I hope that China as an ancient nation and with an ancient civilization, will be able to handle the newly gained economic and political clout in much more dignified and responsible manner. China is an important global power with tremendous potential to play much more important global role and on the issue of Tibet. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has the moral responsibility to knock the doors wherever he can to raise the concerns of the Tibetan people, he added.

On the “Four Not to Indulge In” position laid out by the Chinese government, Kasur Lodi Gyari said: “We told the Chinese leadership that we would thoroughly study the four points, but at the same we told them very clearly of not making any commitment from our side.”

In his brief address, Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen said: “The commitment of the Tibetan leadership in exile is not dependent of the temporary political attitude of the Chinese government. Irrespective of the Chinese government’s attitude, the policy of Tibetans is guided the principles of dialogue and non-violence. Despite the lack of more understanding and positive indication from the Chinese government on Tibet, meeting face to face in dialogue offers the opportunity to argue, reason and to explain. It is only through dialogue that we can achieve a mutually agreeable solution to the issue of Tibet.”