June 23, 2009
Tibet: How to Break Impasse with China
The Tibetan government-in-exile puzzles over how to break impasse with China in order to restart the dialogue process and move towards a ninth round of talks.
The Tibetan government-in-exile in this Himachal Pradesh town is deliberating upon ways to break the impasse with the Chinese for restarting the dialogue process on the future of Tibet, says a Tibetan official.
“We have deliberated upon ways to break the impasse with the Chinese so that the dialogue process can come back on track,” Sonam N. Dagpo, secretary of international affairs of the government-in-exile, told IANS.
“During the eighth round of talks in November 2008, differences (between the Chinese and the exiles) cropped up over the memorandum (on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people) submitted by us. The Chinese rejected it without providing any legal and rational explanation,” said Dagpo, who attended a crucial meeting of the task force of the exiles, which concluded here last week.
The meeting also reviewed the future course of action of the exiles.
The two sides – China and envoys of the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama – have held eight rounds of talks since 2002 to try and find a solution to the Tibetan issue.
After the eighth round of negotiations, the talks have almost reached a deadlock. China is insisting that talks with the Dalai Lama representatives can continue if the Tibetan leader is sincere and ensures that the talks bear fruit.
“Now, we (the task force) have prepared an explanatory note to clarify our stand on Tibet and issues raised in the memorandum submitted during the last talks. We are trying to dispel China’s doubts and misunderstandings about the memorandum,” the Tibetan official said.
“The note has been sent to the Tibetan cabinet (headed by Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche) for approval. Once approved, it will be sent to China.”
Regarding China’s accusation that the memorandum sought independence in disguise, Dagpo said: “We want to settle the issue mutually and within the framework of the Chinese constitution, law and national regional autonomy. We do not hold any secret agenda.”
The Tibetan task force was set up by the government-in-exile in 1999 to assist the Dalai Lama and his envoys hold talks with the Chinese.
Over 100,000 Tibetans live in exile in India. The Dalai Lama fled Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959 and came to India. His government-in-exile is headquartered [in India].