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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Statement by Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kasur Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari

July 6, 2008

Tibet Custom (UK)
July 5, 2008

Special Envoy Lodi Gyari making a point during his meeting on July
1st with Du Qinglin, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political
Consultative Conference and Minister of the Central United Front Work
Department. To his right is Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen while to the left
of Du Qinglin is Executive Vice Minister Zhu Weiqun of the Central
United Front Work Department. Photos/Central Tibetan Administration

Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen and I accompanied by senior aides Sonam N.
Dagpo, Bhuchung K. Tsering, both members of the Task Force on
Sino-Tibetan Negotiations, and Jigmey Passang from the Secretariat of
the Tibetan Task Force, visited Beijing from June 30 to July 3, 2008.

We met with Du Qinglin, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's
Political Consultative Conference and Minister of the Central United
Front Work Department, on July 1, 2008. This was our first meeting
with Minister Du who had taken over the present post after the 17th
Party Congress. He gave us a brief overview of China's domestic and
international situation as well as on China's policy on Tibet. We
took the opportunity to explain His Holiness the Dalai Lama's basic
approach in resolving the issue of Tibet and also expressed our
heartfelt condolences to the victims of the earthquake in Sichuan.

We visited the China's Centre for Tibetan Studies and were received
by Director Lhakpa Phuntsok and Deputy Director Zhu Xiaoming. We had
a good discussion with the scholars who briefed us about their
research projects. We appreciated the work of the scholars in various
fields and had the opportunity to emphasize the importance of
scholars engaging in unbiased and independent research on issues such
as the history of Tibet, which will contribute to a better
understanding of the different perceptions.

We had a day-long discussion with Executive Vice Minister Zhu Weiqun
and Vice Minister Sithar on July 2, 2008.

This meeting took place at a crucial time in our relationship. The
recent events in Tibet clearly demonstrated the Tibetan people's
genuine and deep-rooted discontentment with the People's Republic of
China's policies. The urgent need for serious and sincere efforts to
address this issue with courage and vision in the interest of
stability, unity and harmony of all nationalities of the PRC is
obvious. In addition even though His Holiness the Dalai Lama is
seeking a solution to the issue of Tibet within the PRC, it is a fact
that it has become an issue of great international concern. In this
context, we had hoped that the Chinese leadership would reciprocate
our efforts by taking tangible steps during this round. On the
contrary, due to their excessive concern about legitimacy the Chinese
side even failed to agree to our proposal of issuing a joint
statement with the aim of committing both parties to the dialogue process.

While the Chinese side finally seems to have realized that their
allegations against His Holiness for instigating the recent events in
Tibet and in sabotaging the Olympics Games have become untenable,
they are now urging His Holiness not to support violence, terrorism,
and sabotaging the Olympics. We stated in the strongest possible
terms that no one needs to urge us on this as His Holiness and the
Tibetan struggle are universally acknowledged and appreciated for
consistently rejecting and opposing such acts. While the Tibetan
Youth Congress does not support the Middle Way Approach of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama and stands for independence of Tibet, we
categorically rejected the Chinese attempt to label it as a violent
and terrorist organization. His Holiness has repeatedly and clearly
stated publicly he is not seeking separation and independence of Tibet.

Throughout our talks we have reiterated to our counterparts that the
issue at hand is the welfare of the Tibetan people and is not about
the personal status and affairs of His Holiness the Dalai Lama or
that of the Tibetans in exile.

In the course of our discussions we were compelled to candidly convey
to our counterparts that in the absence of serious and sincere
commitment on their part the continuation of the present dialogue
process would serve no purpose.

The Chinese side expressed the view that the dialogue process has
been productive and that we need to keep in mind that a
half-a-century-old issue of great complexity, cannot be resolved in a
matter of years.

Guided by the Tibetan leadership's policy of engagement, we agreed
with our counterparts to have the next round of discussions in
October and discussed some points that could serve as the basis of the agenda.

We briefed His Holiness the Dalai Lama today. We also briefed Speaker
Karma Chophel and the Deputy Speaker Dolma Gyari this morning. On our
arrival in Dharamsala on July 4 we briefed Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche.

We thank our host the Central United Front Work Department of the
Chinese Communist Party for its hospitality and assistance.
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