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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

No progress in dialogue as crisis in Tibet deepens

July 7, 2008

International Campaign for Tibet
Press Release
July 5, 2008

World leaders gathering for the annual meeting of the Group of Eight
industrial nations on the Japanese island of Hokkaido on Monday must
raise Tibet with Chinese President Hu Jintao, given the disappointing
results of the seventh round of dialogue with the Dalai Lama's envoys
in Beijing last week and the ongoing crackdown in Tibet.

The Dalai Lama's Special Envoy, Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, said today that
the latest round of talks with China were disappointing and
difficult, and had failed to lead to any breakthrough. This round of
talks were particularly crucial due to the deteriorating situation in
Tibet – since protests swept across the plateau from March 10, the
Chinese government has imposed a wide-ranging crackdown, leading to
thousands of disappearances and detentions, and has virtually sealed
off the region to outsiders.

ICT's Vice President of Advocacy, Mary Beth Markey, said: "This round
of talks clearly has not met the expectations of the international
community, which has repeatedly called upon Beijing for results-based
dialogue with the Dalai Lama's representatives. These leaders are now
compelled to press Chinese President Hu to wrest the dialogue from
the grip of hardliners who are holding onto a failed policy in Tibet
and blocking an achievable solution."

The Dalai Lama's Special Envoy Lodi Gyari said that during the
meetings in Beijing with United Front Work Department Director Du
Qinglin and colleagues he countered China's accusations that the
Dalai Lama planned to sabotage next month's Olympics and was behind
the protests against Chinese rule that swept the Tibetan plateau from
March onwards. He called the discussions "one of the most difficult
sessions" the two sides have had in the latest round of talks, that
have been ongoing since 2002 after a decade of diplomatic stalemate,
saying in a statement today: "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."
(www.tibet.net)

Lodi Gyari, who briefed the Dalai Lama today in India on the talks,
said today in Dharamsala, India: "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."

The G8 brings together several of the governments that have been most
engaged with both the Tibetan and Chinese sides in urging progress to
resolve challenges to peace and stability in Tibet, including the US,
Germany, Japan, Australia and France.

French President Sarkozy has pinned his attendance at the Olympics
opening ceremony to progress in the dialogue and specifically to
addressing the unrest in Tibet that began this spring, with a wave of
at least 125 mainly peaceful protests against Chinese rule across the plateau.

Mary Beth Markey of ICT said: "With the failure of the dialogue to
move forward, the French President is in a difficult situation, as is
the Dalai Lama who, as a supporter of the Beijing Olympics, would not
wish to be an obstacle to Sarkozy's full participation. Of course,
China's leaders have made this calculation and deliberately forsaken
an opportunity to build international goodwill directly tied to the Olympics."

This press release can be found online at
http://savetibet.org/news/newsitem.php?id=1334

Press contact:
Kate Saunders
Communications Director, ICT
Tel: +44 7947 138612
email: press@savetibet.org
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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