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ICT urges Obama to offer mediator's role for China -Tibet dialogue

November 13, 2009

November 11, 2009

Dharamsala, November 11 -- The International
Campaign for Tibet has urged the US President
Barack Obama to offer a third party assistance to
the Chinese government and His Holiness the Dalai
Lama’s representatives in “defining a common goal
for their dialogue, and push for an invitation
for the Tibetan leader to visit China.

A letter (Ed: See below) signed by Hollywood
actor Richard Gere on behalf of the board of
directors for the Washington D.C based
organization said, "If by not meeting [in October
2009] with His Holiness [the Dalai Lama] you
intended to signal to General Secretary and
President Hu Jintao that you expect an equally
significant action from the Chinese government,
there are a number of specific objectives that should be pursued."

In its first 10 months in office, the Obama
Administration has made statements indicating a
desire for meaningful results in the
Tibetan-Chinese dialogue. It has also expressed
its interest in new, creative approaches to
resolve intractable issues, such as Tibet.
Observers will be watching to see whether the
President uses the opportunity of the US-China
summit to rise to the challenge that his administration has set for itself.

In September, President Obama sent his Senior
Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Under Secretary of
State and Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues
Maria Otero to Dharamsala, India, to convey his
administration’s position. Jarrett revealed that
the President and the Dalai Lama would meet
sometime after the summit in November, and that
the Dalai Lama "would value an opportunity to
hear directly from the President about what
transpired during the Beijing summit with regard
to Tibet," according to the Tibetan leader’s Special Envoy, Lodi Gyari.

The letter acknowledged the magnanimous approach
that the Dalai Lama took to the President's
proposal that they meet only after the US-China
Summit but aligns itself with the concern
expressed by Vaclav Havel (a member of the ICT
International Council of Advisors) that what
might appear to be a "minor compromise" will in
fact lead to further accommodation.

"We have always believed that America is
essential to progress on Tibet. At the November
summit, we urge you to bring the weight of your
high office, the will of the American people, and
your considerable commitment to human rights,
nonviolence and peace to help move ahead on this very important issue."

The letter further said that no efforts will
yield positive results as long as the Chinese
government continues to vilify His Holiness the
Dalai Lama and propagandize against the Tibetan
people who remain committed to a peaceful resolution.

The letter was sent on behalf of the board Vice
Chairman Gare Smith and board members Ellen Bork,
Joel McCleary, Steve Schroeder, Marco Antonio
Karam, Grace Spring, Melissa Mathison, Keith Pitts, Jim Kane and John Ackerly.

Barack Obama's first Asia trip as the US
President begins November 12 and includes Tokyo,
Singapore, Shanghai, Seoul, and Beijing.
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