The Dalai Lama’s top envoys are in China for talks with Chinese leaders, a spokesman from the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala says.
The previous talks had ended a few months after violent protests in Tibet against communist rule in March, 2008. At that time, Beijing said no progress had been made. Now, both sides seem to want to resume their talks.
[Thubten Samphel, Spokesman, Tibetan Government-in-Exile]:
"This is the ninth round of dialogue. The envoys are visiting China after a gap of 15 months in the process that began in 2002."
Some Tibetans are saying the new round of talks will not bring any significant breakthroughs for the Tibetan people.
[Tenzin Choeying, President, Students for a Free Tibet, Dharamsala]:
“I don't very much expect anything new that's coming out of this ninth round of talks between envoys of His Holiness and the Chinese government,
because what happened in 2008, and preceding that event, the tight control and the way China is sentencing the people who took part in it—it's a very bleak sign and I am very cynical of the way China is taking control of these so-called 'talks.’”
The Tibetan envoys’ visit comes just days after Beijing held a top policy meeting on Tibet—the first one in nine years. Chinese leader Hu Jintao told senior officials at the meeting that they would continue their efforts to clamp down on so-called “penetration and sabotage” by supporters of Tibetan independence.
The Dalai Lama and his envoys, however, have not called for independence, but rather for “meaningful autonomy.”