Tibetan administration mulls resuming talks with China

Dharamsala, Sep 5 (IANS) The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Thursday began deliberations on ways to end the three-year hiatus in the engagement between the Dalai Lama's envoys and the Chinese leadership over greater autonomy for Tibet, officials said.

The deliberations will also take stock of the prevailing situation in Tibet.

The last round of talks between the two sides - the ninth round - was held in Beijing January 2010. Since then, a deadlock has remained.

A CTA spokesperson told IANS that the three-day meeting of the Tibetan Task Force on Negotiations, chaired by Tibetan prime minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay, has begun.

Members of the task force will discuss and review the situation inside Tibet and prospects of continued dialogue.

The task force was set up by the government-in-exile in 1999 to assist envoys of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to hold talks with the Chinese leadership.

In the last round of talks, the government-in-exile submitted an "explanatory" note to the Chinese leadership to clarify its stand on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people.

On the conclusion of that round in 2010, the statement that the Chinese side issued said the two sides had "sharply divided views, as usual".

"Yes, it would be in China's own interest, as we are seeking genuine autonomy for Tibetans within the framework of the Chinese constitution," Sangay told IANS before the meeting began Thursday.

He expressed hope that the new Chinese leadership would realise the futility of the repression of Tibet, and wake to the urgent need for more liberal policies.

"It is early to reach a final conclusion on their leadership. However, given the failure of hard-line policies on Tibetans, it is pertinent that the new Chinese leadership review and revise their policies to meet the genuine aspirations of Tibetans," he said.

"In the National People's Congress meeting in March 2014 we should be able to get some indication as to which way the Chinese leadership will formulate policies for the world at large; Asia, India and Tibet," the political successor of the Dalai Lama said.

Official sources said that during the ongoing task force meeting, deliberations on the appointment of new envoys would also be held.

Lodi Gyari, the former special envoy of the Dalai Lama who participated in all nine rounds of negotiations, and another envoy, Kelsang Gyaltsen, resigned last year, citing frustration over the lack of positive response from the Chinese side.

The Tibetan administration in exile is based in this north Indian hill town.

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