Dalai Lama cannot be blamed for talks failure: Envoys

November 16th, 2008 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh), Nov 16 (IANS) Virtually indicating that the talks between the exiled Tibetan leadership and China were on the verge of collapse, the envoys of the Tibetan spiritual leader Sunday said the Dalai Lama could not be blamed for the failure of the talks.”The Chinese side was absolutely uncompromising this time (during the eighth round of talks). The Dalai Lama cannot be held responsible for the failure of the talks,” senior Tibetan leader and the Dalai Lama’s envoy Lodi Gyari told media persons here.

“We did not even ask the Chinese side for the next round of talks,” Gyari said, implying that the exiled Tibetan leadership, based at McLeodganj near Dharamsala town of Himachal Pradesh, has given up on further talks with China.

“We told the Chinese side very clearly during our latest visit that we have reached the crossroads. Either we move ahead from here or go back. We are no strangers to this Chinese behaviour. We are victims of that. We know differences exist between the two sides but they can be talked,” said Gyari, who is the Dalai Lama’s representative in Washington.

The statements regarding the talks come on the eve of a six-day special meeting of top 500 Tibetan leaders from all over the world, beginning here Monday, to decide the future course of action for the Tibetans.

Gyari, accompanied by fellow envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen and two other aides, concluded the eighth round of talks with China’s Central United Front Work Department leaders Nov 4.

Clearly sounding upset with the way the Chinese side went ahead with the eighth round of talks, Gyari and Gyaltsen said the uncompromising Chinese side showed no inclination of resolving the Tibet issue.

“The Dalai Lama really felt that the best way for both sides to resolve Tibet was through talks. He cannot be held responsible for the failure of the talks. He has made it clear recently that he will give the Tibetan people … to speak about the future,” Gyari said.

“They (Chinese) said that the doors were wide open and wanted us to covey this to our leadership. I think that their doors are completely shut,” he said.

“The Chinese side keeps talking of our hidden agenda in seeking genuine autonomy saying it is independence in disguise.”

Accusing the Chinese side of contradictions, Gyari said that during the seventh round of talks, the Chinese had sought suggestions from the Dalai Lama to find a solution to Tibet “within the Chinese constitution”.

“But during the eighth round, they did a complete somersault. They even had an objection to the headline of the memorandum we submitted to them as per the Chinese constitution. They said that we had no say to speak on behalf of the Tibetans.”

Nearly six million Tibetans live in Tibet region of China while over 150,000 live in other countries, most of them in India.

The envoys said that the Chinese side, during the latest round of talks even brought vice governor of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) Pema Trinley for discussions with the exiled leaders.

“We have no conflict between the exiled leadership and local Tibetan authorities in Lhasa. We did not respond to his (Pema Trinley’s) claims that they represented the Tibetans inside Tibet. We have no idea to impose the authority of the exiled government on Tibetans inside Tibet. China, this time, even denied us the right to represent all Tibetans,” he said.

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