Tibetan PM for resumption of talks with China (Lead)

August 8th, 2012 - 6:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, Aug 8 (IANS) Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay Wednesday called for early resumption of dialogue with China on the Tibet issue.

“We are committed to the middle-way approach and the dialogue process to resolve the Tibet issue on the basis of mutual benefit,” the elected head of the Central Tibetan Administration said on completing a year in office.

He said the Tibetan Task Force on negotiations had met twice in the last eight months and would meet again in December to continue the dialogue process with the new Chinese leadership.

Sangay recently returned from the US after meeting senior Obama administration officials including Under Secretary of State Maria Otero.

On the appointment of new envoys to hold negotiations with the Chinese for genuine autonomy for Tibet, he told reporters here: “We are ready to appoint envoys any time, when necessary.

“We know that the Chinese leadership is more involved in internal politics. Once they pay attention to and willing to engage in a meaningful dialogue to resolve the issue, we are always ready.”

The 43-year-old Sangay took over the reins of the exile government from 74-year-old monk scholar Samdhong Rinpoche, who held the post for the past 10 years but was overshadowed by the Dalai Lama.

With the Dalai Lama stepping down from diplomacy and active politics, the prime minister’s post has acquired added stature.

Acknowledging the hard work of the elder generation, he said the foundation of the Tibetan movement was very strong.

“It has sent a clear message to the Chinese government’s claims that the Tibetan movement will collapse when the elder generation passes away,” he said.

Expressing anguish over the spate of self-immolation incidents in Tibet, the prime minister asked the Tibetans to refrain from such drastic form of protest.

“We hold the repressive policies of the Chinese government solely responsible for this tragic turn of events.”

A string of self-immolations took place in Sichuan and Qinghai provinces bordering Tibet in the past year to press for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and restoration of freedom for Tibetans inside Tibet.

As many as 46 people have reportedly killed themselves since March 2011.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan exile administration is based in this northern Indian hill town.

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