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"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?"

Talks with China ‘frustrating’, says Tibetan PM

December 15, 2009

Phayul [Monday, December 14, 2009 13:13]
By Phurbu Thinley

Dharamsala, December 14: Describing the dialogues process with Chinese
leadership as being “frustrating and difficult”, the Prime Minister of
the Tibet’s government in exile Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche has urged
Australia to lobby China on its behalf.

Rinpoche said he managed to restore communication with Chinese
authorities, and eight formal dialogue sessions have been held, but did
not yield concrete results.

"The experience of dialogue process was rather frustrating and
difficult," he said.

The Tibetan Prime Minister was speaking to Radio Australia’s Connect
Asia Program during a visit to Melbourne to attend the Parliament of
World Religions last week.

Rinpoche, however, said each session gave the Tibetans a chance to
"clarify our position more specifically, and we are also able to
understand the mindset of the PRC leadership."

The Tibetan PM lamented the what he sees as economic interests taking
precedence over morality and a commitment to human rights.

"In the process of globalisation of economy and trade most of the
governments and multinational companies are ready to compromise the
human rights issue and the issue of justice. This is a very sad affair,"
he said.

In March 2008, demonstrations marking the 49th anniversary of a failed
uprising against Chinese rule broke out in the Tibetan capital Lhasa.
The unrest lasted several days and spread across the the three
traditional provinces of Tibet.

Tibetan Government-in-Exile based in Dharamsala, a small town in north
India, says according to the information it gathered till October this
year, 228 Tibetan have died under the Chinese crackdown. Of them it says
it has the names and other personal details of 118.

Rinpoche said since then, peaceful protests and demonstrations had
continued, and the conditions remained tense.

"The PRC leadership is using very brutal and repressive forces, and
everywhere the presence of military is overwhelming, and then the
sentences - including the death sentences - passed on various people in
detention since last year are very drastic," he said.

The exile Tibetan government on Thursday, during the celebration of the
20th anniversary of the Dalai Lama winning Nobel Peace Prize in
Dharamsala, said it was committed to resume talks with Beijing on the
basis of the "memorandum" that was submitted to China last year.
Nevertheless, it maintained that there appeared “no hope for China to
change its hard-line policies to solve the appalling situation in Tibet"
in the present scenario.

At the last round of talks held in Beijing in October 2008, the
memorandum was handed to China on how to implement the constitution to
give Tibet cultural and spiritual autonomy. The memorandum was, however,
categorically rejected by China and the talks came to an abrupt halt
since then.

Rinpoche told Radio Australia he believes the Australian can be a
stronger advocate for Tibet with China.

"Since Australia has a good relation with (the People's Republic of
China) they can use their good offices for educating and persuading the
PRC leadership to consider the Tibet issue more seriously and find some
solution," he told Radio Australia.

In a statement issued Thursday, the top Tibetan negotiator Mr Lodi Gyari
said the Tibetan side was “currently under discussion with the Chinese
leadership on the next round of dialogue”.
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