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Tibetan PM to preside over Task Force meeting

February 9, 2009

Phayul [Saturday, February 07, 2009 17:21]
By Phurbu Thinley

Tibetan PM Prof Samdhong Rinpoche (Phayul/file)
Tibetan PM Prof Samdhong Rinpoche (Phayul/file)
Dharamsala, Feb. 7: Tibetan Prime Minister Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche will
preside over a three-day Task Force meeting to be held in New Delhi next
week, according to the website of the Tibetan Government-in-exile.

This will be the Task Force’s 18th meeting since the body was set up in
1999 to mainly assist the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in their
talks with the representatives of the Chinese government.

Majority of the members are expected to attend the three-day Task Force
meeting, the website reported the Tibetan PM as saying.

The meeting will start from February 11. The body last met in
Dharamshala from 22-24 September 2008.

The report provided no further details about the meeting.

Talks between Dalai Lama's envoys and Beijing came to a standstill after
a "Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People” submitted by
the Tibetan side at the eighth round of talks in October last year was
met with Beijing’s derision.

Calling it an “an agenda of independence”, the memorandum was
categorically rejected by Chinese leadership.

Nevertheless, China has been insistent that its doors for talks are
still open. Critics and Tibetan exiles point out that Beijing do so to
deflect international pressure.

The Tibetan PM last month announced that the Sino-Tibetan dialogue has
failed to produce any positive changes in China's Tibet policy, and
concluded that there was no further plan to send envoys for talks unless
China adopts a sincere approach to sincerely deal with Tibet’s issue.

“The Tibetan side has already made all the required clarifications and
brought a process of dialogue that began in 2002 to its logical
conclusion,” Rinpoche said in December last year, following rounds of
inconclusive talks with Beijing through special envoys since 2002.

“Therefore, the entire responsibility for the future status of our
dialogues, irrespective of what it is going to be, lies squarely on the
Chinese leaders,” he concluded.

Rinpoche, who heads the Tibetan Task Force, however, said there had been
no change in his administration’s desire to pursue "the Middle Path"
approach advocated by the Dalai Lama that a “real and meaningful”
autonomy for the Tibetan people within the constitutional framework of
China.

Meanwhile, Tibetan PM is scheduled to attend an inauguration ceremony of
the world's largest meditation centre in Mumbai - the Global Vipassana
Pagoda. The pagoda, built by the Global Vipassana Foundation, will be
inaugurated by Indian President Pratibha Patil on 8 February.

After Mumbai, Kalon Tripa will visit Panchgani in Pune to attend a
conference for young Tibetans organised by Empowering the Vision Project
(ENVISION), at Asia Plateau, from 9 - 14 February.

During the conference, Kalon Tripa will give two key-note addresses on
"Creating the Future: A Global Vision for Young Tibetans" and “Youth as
Ambassadors and Nation Builders" on 9 and 10 February respectively.

Prof. Rinpoche will return to Dharamshala on 16 February.
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