Dalai Lama’s envoys leave for talks with China

October 30th, 2008 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, Oct 30 (IANS) Two envoys of Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama Thursday left for Beijing for the eighth round of negotiations with Chinese officials since talks began in 2002. Besides Kasur Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, the delegation includes three senior assistants, said a statement of the Tibetan government-in-exile that is based in this Himalayan town.

“The envoys will be in Beijing for about a week as a follow-up to the seventh round of talks held in July this year,” it said.

The last formal talks between the envoys and the Chinese leadership, the seventh since 2002, were not fruitful as officials there were preoccupied with the Olympics.

The Dalai Lama, who along with his supporters fled Tibet and took refuge in India in 1959, has been following a “middle path” policy that demands “greater autonomy” for Tibetans, rather than complete independence.

But over the weekend, the Nobel laureate said at a function in this north Indian hill station that he had “lost hope of reaching an agreement with the present Chinese leadership over allowing more autonomy for the Buddhist region in Tibet as there is no response from across the border regarding the next round of negotiations”.

The Tibetan government-in-exile has also called a special six-day session of exiles at McLeodganj near here from Nov 17 to discuss the future of the Tibetan movement.

Gyari, who participated in the last round of talks in China, had said after returning to India that “in the course of our discussion (seventh round), we were compelled to candidly convey to our counterparts that in the absence of serious and sincere commitment on their part, the continuation of the present dialogue process would serve no purpose”.

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