Join our Mailing List

"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

China to hold formal talks on Tibet: Dalai Lama envoy

May 9, 2008

Agence France-Presse
May 7, 2008

DHARAMSHALA, India (AFP) -- A date will soon be set for a seventh
round of formal talks between the Dalai Lama's envoys and China on
Tibet, an envoy of the spiritual leader said on Thursday.

It follows informal talks Sunday in the southern Chinese city of
Shenzhen that were the first known encounter between the two sides
since unrest broke out in the Himalayan region in March.

"Despite major differences on important issues, both sides
demonstrated a willingness to seek common approaches... each side
made some concrete proposals which can be part of the future agenda,"
said a statement by envoy Lodi Gyari, one of the envoys who met
Sunday with Chinese officials.

"As a result, an understanding was reached to continue the formal
round of discussions. A date for the seventh round will be finalised
soon after mutual consultation."

The statement was issued in the northern Indian hill town of
Dharamshala, seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Gyari, who led the Tibetan side of the Shenzhen talks, and a second
envoy arrived back in India on Tuesday to brief the Dalai Lama.

Beijing offered last month to reopen dialogue on Tibet, a move seen
as a response to global protests over China's crackdown on unrest in
the Himalayan region that have angered and embarrassed China's
leadership ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games.

The Tibetan government-in-exile had said Sunday's talks would be
informal and were not on a par with six earlier rounds that started
in late 2002 and broke off in 2007.

"We made it clear (at the weekend talks) that the events in Tibet are
the inescapable consequences of wrong policies of the authorities
towards the Tibetans, which goes back several decades," Gyari said.

"The recent crisis in Tibet is a clear symptom of deeply felt
grievances and resentment of the Tibetans with these policies."

Sunday's talks in Shenzhen, just over the border from Hong Kong, took
place seven weeks after protests in the Tibetan capital Lhasa turned
deadly, sparking a military crackdown, and three months before the
Olympics are to be held.

"There were strong and divergent views on the nature as well as the
causes of the recent tragic events in Tibet (during Sunday's talks).
The views were expressed in a frank and candid manner," the Tibetan envoy said.

China was urged to release Tibetan prisoners and end political
re-education during the Shenzen talks, Gyari said.

The Tibetan government-in-exile says 203 Tibetans have been killed
and about 1,000 injured in the Chinese crackdown. China denies this,
saying that Tibetan "rioters" and "insurgents" killed 21 people.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank