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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."

Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen in Tokyo

May 24, 2009

Tibet House, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
May 24, 2009

Mr. Kalsang Gyaltsen, one of the envoys of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama was in Tokyo for a week
since 19th May. The envoy’s visit was arranged
by Liaison office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Japan & East Asia.

The Envoy had a very hectic schedule during the
week. On the day of his arrival, Mr. Kelsang gave
a forty-minutes exclusive interview with the
Nihon Television (NTV), which was broadcasted the
same evening in the city. Mr. Kelsang Gyaltsen
explained about the chronology of the negotiation
with the Chinese leadership and Chinese response
to the proposal made by the Tibetan side. After
the TV interview, Sankei Shinbum, one of major
dailies interviewed the Envoy on the current
status of dialog with the Chinese leadership.

The following day, Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen
attended press conference organized by Foreign
Correspondent Club in Tokyo. Some 40 people
representing all sections of foreign and domestic
medias, televisions, newspapers, magazines, radio
etc. attended the conference.

During the interviews and the press conference,
Envoy Kelsang said, "Last November, as suggested
by the Chinese government, we presented a
Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan
People to the Chinese Government of the People's
Republic of China. This memorandum puts forth the
Tibetan position on genuine autonomy and how the
specific needs of the Tibetan people for autonomy
and self-government can be met through
application of the principle on autonomy of the
Constitution of the People Republic of China.

"Unfortunately, the Chinese government rejected
the memorandum as a whole without presenting
their views and comment on the proposal. But from
our side we are waiting for the Chinese response
on the memorandum presented last November. We are
ready whenever Chinese side is ready to address the Tibet issue sincerely.

"Japan is a democratic nation, it is an open
society were rule of law exist. Japanese economic
contribution is also great. So Japan enjoys great
moral authority not only in Asia, but also in
international circles. Therefore, Japan is in a
very good position to play a meaningful role in
promoting peaceful resolution of Tibet issue with
the Chinese government." Said the Envoy.

When asked about the main differences about the
two parties, Mr. Kelsang said that Chinese
leadership keeps on saying that there is no
problem in Tibet and that Tibetans are happy
under Chinese rule. "This is one of main
differences. If there is no problem in Tibet, why
all those demonstrations in Tibet! Why the ongoing repression in Tibet!

"Another thing is Chinese side says Dalai Lama
has no right to talk about Tibet issue, he can
talk about his problem; this is a major
difference. Because His Holiness the Dalai Lama
has always said that issue is not about his
personal well being, issue is about the freedom
and well being of the six million Tibetan.

"Lack of respect and understanding of the Tibetan
values, cultures and its religion from the
Chinese leaderships have resulted into misguided
policy in Tibet. The hardliners see the distinct
identity of Tibetan as a source of threat for
separation, which must be suppressed brutally.
But we are hopeful of Chinese public, who have
began to understand the Tibetan problem and many
intellectuals and lawyers are raising their voice
for Tibet." Explained the Envoy.

Other major medias, with whom the Envoy had
exclusive interviews and interactions during the
visit were, Sankei News paper, Kyodo Tsushin,
Chinese News Week, Radio Free Asia, Japan etc.

The same afternoon, he met three Japanese
lawmakers and their assistants representing
Japanese Parliamentarians for Tibet at Parliament
building in Tokyo. The Parliamentarians welcomed
the Envoy in Japan and showed keen interest about
the status of Sino-Tibetan dialog. Mr. Kelsang
thanked the Japanese lawmakers for their interest
in Tibetan issue, and briefed them about the
eight rounds of official talks with the Chinese
leaderships since 2002. The lawmakers jointly
assured the Envoy that they would do their best
in keeping the issue of Tibet alive in Japanese
parliament and urging the Government to talk with
Chinese counterpart to resolve the Tibetan issue.

The parliamentarians expressed their full support
for His Holiness` Middle Path Approach; they
further expressed their concern about
environmental damages taking place in Tibet and
about the Chinese government policy of using
Tibet as nuclear waste sites. They said that this
not only a Tibetan problem, but also an Asian
problem, for that matter, an international issue.

On the third day of his visit, apart from other
engagements, Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen gave a public
talk at Olympic Center hall at Shibuyaku, some
two hundred Tibet supporters and general public
participated in the talk. The following day, he
participated in a talk organized by Association
of non-sectarian Japanese Buddhist monks at
Gokokuji Temple. Prof. Ishihama of Waseda
University also participated in the talk.

Mr. Lhakpa Tshoko, Representative of Liaison
Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Japan &
East Asia during the inaugural speech at both the
talks said, "Since the turmoil in Tibet last
year, Japanese supporters and general public took
keen interest in Tibetan issue. They put great
hope in the dialog agreed by Chinese leadership
last November. But when nothing came out of this
dialog, people wanted to know what exactly
happened and what were the major points of
disagreement between the two parties. In view of
this facts and numerous request from the public,
Liaison Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
invited Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen to address the
above the issue and to enlighten the Japanese
supporters and the general public about the
contents and the real situation of the so-called
`Sino-Tibetan dialog`, which began in 2002.

Both the talks were greatly well received by the
general public. People took active participation
in the question and answer time. Some
participants said that China keeps on saying that
Tibet issue is their internal affair, but the
internal affair does not give them the authority
to go on killing the peaceful Tibetan
demonstrators. Some suggested that Japanese
government and public needs to take more
responsibility in resolving Tibet issue peacefully with the Chinese leadership.

During the visit, Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen met with
several Japanese opinion leaders, intellectuals
and journalists from all angle of Japanese
society. He met with some Chinese scholars and
intellectuals and exchanged opinion about the
Tibet issue. The Chinese intellectuals expressed
their full support for His Holiness the Dalai
Lama approach of finding solution to Tibet issue
within the purview of Chinese constitution. They
suggested that although the talks with the
current leadership may not produce immediate
result, but it is important to continue the talk.
The intellectuals were hopeful that young
upcoming Chinese leaderships would one day see
the wisdom in addressing Tibet issue rationally.

To sum up the visit, Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen`s
visit to Tokyo was a great success from the point
of the view that he was able to update and inform
the Japanese medias, Tibet supporters and general
pubic about the truth and the real situation of
the negotiation with the Chinese government. His
meeting with the Japanese parliamentarians and
Chinese intellectuals were also very meaningful
in a sense that they were able to get update on
the status of negotiation directly from the Envoy
of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Tibet supporters
and general public appreciated the visit and said
that the visit enabled them to get first hand
report on the Tibet situation, especially on the status of the negotiation.

Envoy Kalsang Gyaltsen at his concluding remark
during a meeting with the Tibet supporters on
last day of his visit said that he was very
satisfied with the visit; that he was able to
meet cross-section of Japanese people. And that
he was greatly encouraged and happy to observe
keen interest and dedication among the Japanese on Tibetan issue.

Mr. Kelsang will leave Tokyo on the morning of 25th May to Zurich.
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