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

Press Release: Dalai Lama's envoys leave for talks in China

January 26, 2010

International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)
January 25, 2010

The Dalai Lama's envoys, led by Lodi Gyaltsen
Gyari, arrive in China tomorrow for talks with
Chinese officials, the Tibetan government in
exile announced today (http://dalailama.com/news/post/484-press-statement).

Results from eight previous rounds since 2002
have failed to meet the expectations of the international community.

Mary Beth Markey, Vice President for Advocacy of
the International Campaign for Tibet, said today:
"We welcome Dharamsala's announcement as a sign
that both sides see some value in continuing
their dialogue. But given the context of the
continuing repression in Tibet, and an overall
backsliding from the Chinese government on human
rights, we hope that this time there will be an
indication that the Chinese side is interested in
engaging in a results-based dialogue."

Since the Tibetans and Chinese last met in 2008
(October 31 ­ November 5), there have been
serious developments in Tibet including the
sentencing of Tibetans on political charges
related to alleged contact with the so-called
"Dalai clique in the context of a severe
crackdown on expressions of Tibetan identity
and  an aggressive campaign to misrepresent the
Dalai Lama's position internationally.

Last week, President and Party Secretary Hu
Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao presided
over the 5th Tibet Work Forum, an important
conference that determines Chinese government
policy on Tibet.  The Fourth work forum convened in June 2001.

Mary Beth Markey said: "The timing of the talks
directly after the Fifth Work Forum could signal
a new momentum in internal Chinese government
interest in resolving Tibet issues that will
inform and carry through this round of dialogue with the Dalai Lama's envoys."

During the previous round of dialogue, the
Tibetan side presented the most detailed and
substantive document offered by either side in
six years of talks: a memorandum that articulated
a concept of genuine autonomy for Tibetans within
the People's Republic of China. The proposal was
specifically requested by the Chinese side in the
May 2008 round. After the meeting, one of the
Chinese interlocutors, official Zhu Weiqun
categorically denounced the ŒMemorandum on
Genuine Autonomy for Tibetans' and embarked upon
a propaganda offensive against the Dalai Lama's
position
(http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-11/10/content_10336956.htm
and
http://www.savetibet.org/media-center/ict-news-reports/no-progress-eighth-round-dialogue-chinese-reject-autonomy-proposal).

A White House spokesperson confirmed on Saturday
that President Obama "most certainly" will meet
the Dalai Lama this year, and that this has been
conveyed to Beijing. White House spokesman Mike
Hammer told foreign journalists: "The President
has made clear to the Chinese government that we
intend to meet with the Dalai Lama, it has been his every intention."

Press contact:
Kate Saunders
Communications Director, International Campaign for Tibet
email: press@savetibet.org
Tel: + 44 (0) 7947 138612
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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