Dalai Lama’s envoys to leave for China by month end

October 24th, 2008 - 3:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, Oct 24 (IANS) Two envoys of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will leave for China later this month for the eighth round of talks with the Chinese leadership, one of his aides said.”Special envoys Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, who participated in the last round of talks in China, will meet Chinese leaders again this month to continue the dialogue process,” Tenzin Taklha, joint secretary at Dalai Lama’s office, told IANS.

The parleys that resumed in September 2002 have been aimed at allowing more autonomy for the Buddhist region in Tibet but so far no major breakthrough has been achieved.

Taklha, however, did not reveal the exact dates of the envoys’ departure.

“We are not revealing the dates of the departure of the envoys and the date and place of the meeting. But, they (the envoys) will reach China by October-end,” he said.

The eighth round of negotiations are important as during the last meeting in July, the Chinese were preoccupied with the Beijing Olympics.

Gyari had said 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”.

This would be the third meeting between the two sides since a March crackdown on protesters in Tibet.

But political observers here pointed out that China “still believes that it’s willing to talk to the Dalai Lama about his future but not that of Tibet and it is the real guardian of Tibet’s culture”.

However, the Tibetan government-in-exile has clarified a number of times that “the issue of Tibet concerns the future of six million Tibetans there and not just the exiled spiritual leader”.

The Dalai Lama has been following a “middle-path” policy that demands “greater autonomy” for Tibetans, rather than complete independence.

But many radicals, particularly the youth, still believe that Tibet was an independent nation before Communist troops invaded in 1950.

The Nobel laureate, along with many of his supporters, fled Tibet and took refuge in this Indian hill station in 1959. The Dalai Lama has ever since been heading the Tibetan government-in-exile from here.

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