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Dialogue with Dalai Lama only way to resolve Tibet issue: Envoys

February 3, 2010

By Phurbu Thinley
Phayul
February 2, 2010

Dharamsala, Feb 1 -- Envoys of His Holiness the
Dalai Lama said Tuesday that the only means to
resolve the issue of Tibet was through dialogue with the exiled Tibetan leader.

In a statement issued here today, the two envoys
said they had urged China in talks last week to
stop labelling the exiled Tibetan leader a
separatist, and to engage with him on resolving Tibet's future.

"We called upon the Chinese side to stop these
baseless accusations against His Holiness and
labelling him a separatist," the statement said.

"Instead, we urged the Chinese leadership to work
with him to find a mutually acceptable solution
to the Tibetan problem based on the memorandum," it added.

"His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaks on behalf of
the Tibetan people, with whom he has a deep and
historical relationship and one based on full trust.

"It cannot be disputed that His Holiness
legitimately represents the Tibetan people, and
he is certainly viewed as their true representative and spokesperson by them.

"It is indeed only by means of dialogue with the
Dalai Lama that the Tibetan issue can be
resolved. The recognition of this reality is
important," the envoys said in the statement.

Special Envoy Lodi G. Gyari, however, said he was
"disappointed" by the "attitude and rigidity in
the behaviour" of the Chinese leadership in their
willingness to tackle Tibet issue, indicating
that the talks that resumed last week after a
break of 15 months had apparently failed to make much headway.

In the statement, the envoys maintained that a
major difference between the two sides was the
"conflicting perspectives" on the current situation inside Tibet.

"So, in order to have a common understanding of
the real situation, we suggested a common effort
to study the actual reality on the ground, in the
spirit of seeking truth from facts," the statement said.

"This will help both sides to move beyond each others' contentions," it added.

China on Tuesday said it "dismissed the Dalai
Lama's claim as being "legal representative of
Tibetans". It also said the "private
representatives" of the Dalai Lama had "no legal
status" to discuss the affairs about Tibet.

The envoys said they had made it clear to China
that the Dalai Lama had no personal demands to
make and was solely concerned with the rights and
welfare of the Tibetan people.

"The fundamental issue that needs to be resolved
is the faithful implementation of genuine
autonomy that will enable the Tibetan people to
govern themselves in accordance with their own needs," their statement said.

"Since His Holiness the Dalai Lama has
consistently made his position clear on the
future of Tibet within the framework of the
People’s Republic of China, given political will
on the Chinese leadership’s side we do not see
any reason why we cannot find a common ground on these issues," it said.

China on Monday said that the door for contacts
and talks remained open, but no concessions would
be made on issues concerning China’s control of Tibet.

Du Qinglin, the head of the Chinese government
representatives for the talks, said that the
so-called "Greater Tibet" and "high-level
autonomy" violated China's Constitution and only
"if the Dalai lama completely abandoned such
claims, could there be a foundation for contacts
and talks," according to a Chinese state media report.

Reacting to the Chinese counterpart’s remarks, Mr
Gyari said, there was "no such thing" as "Smaller
Tibet and Greater Tibet" from the Tibetan
viewpoint. "Our belief is that all Tibetan areas
must be under a uniform policy and a single administration," he said.

He, however, said both sides had agreed during
the talks on the importance of carrying forward the dialogue process.

"So our commitment to dialogue remains very firm
irrespective of Chinese attitude," Mr Gyari said.

"During the talks, they (Chinese counterparts)
also conveyed to us repeatedly about the
importance of continuing the dialogue process," Gyari said.

"ut this process of dialogue to be able to
continue, we told them there should be some tangible progress," he added.

The Tibetan envoys said they also submitted a
"Note" relating to the "Memorandum on Genuine
Autonomy for the Tibetan People" to the Chinese
government representatives. They said the note
contained "seven points" to address the
fundamental issues raised by the Chinese
leadership during the last round of talks and
some constructive suggestions for a way forward in the dialogue process.
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