The Kashag welcomes the remarks made by Mr. Ban-ki Moon, the Secretary-General of the UN, saying that "I hope the Chinese authorities will continue to resolve all these issues through dialogue. The dialogue started some time ago between the representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese Government. I hope this will continue in a sincere manner so that all the concerns coming from Tibet will be resolved smoothly and harmoniously."

These forthright remarks by the Secretary General of the world body indicate the concerns of the international community as whole on the current sad state of Tibet. We believe that such remarks will serve as an impetus for the Chinese authorities to resolve the issue of Tibet to the satisfaction of the Tibetan and the Chinese people.

At the same time, we are dismayed by the remarks made in response to the Secretary General's comments by the Chinese foreign ministry's statement saying that the door to dialogue is still open while reiterating many pre-conditions that make it impossible for the dialogue process to move forward.

The statement said, "The key is whether the Dalai Lama examines and corrects his political stance, abandons his wrongful position on 'Tibetan independence' and genuinely matches his words with actions."

In fact, this attitude of the Chinese authorities is the real obstacle to the advancement of the dialogue process. This attitude is the one that firmly closes the door for further dialogue.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has committed himself to the Middle-Way Approach since 1979. His Holiness is not seeking Tibet's separation from China. Therefore His Holiness has no reason to correct his political stance. All his actions absolutely match his words. The whole world knows His Holiness the Dalai Lama's position of not seeking Tibetan independence for last three decades. Therefore, the PRC's assertion about wrong position on Tibetan independence is absolutely baseless and unsustainable. Their imagination about His Holiness' position on Tibetan independence shows either they want to distort His Holiness the Dalai Lama's intention for their political purpose or their lack of will to address the problem of Tibet. Nothing is farther from truth in saying that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is seeking Tibetan independence or semi-independence or independence in disguise. However, we are confident that such obvious untruthful statement can not mislead or fool the enlightened international community.

During the latest round of talks held in Beijing in November, the two envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Mr. Lodi Gyari and Mr. Kelsang Gyaltsen, presented, at the instance of the Chinese counterpart during the earlier meeting, a memorandum on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people. The memorandum puts forth the Tibetan position on genuine autonomy and how the specific needs of the Tibetan nationality for autonomy and self-government can be met through application of the principles on autonomy of the constitution of the People's Republic of China. On this basis, His Holiness the Dalai Lama felt confident that the basic needs of the Tibetan nationality can be met through genuine autonomy within the constitution of the PRC. Now that the memorandum has been made public, any sensible person can verify from the document whether His Holiness the Dalai Lama is seeking independence or semi-independence or independence in disguise.

This is to reiterate that we are sincere in our commitment to the dialogue process and are serious that the issue of Tibet be resolved within the framework of the Chinese constitution for the benefit of both Tibetans and Chinese people. Therefore, we are always ready to have dialogue with PRC at anytime, anywhere if the PRC authorities wish to do so.

December 18, 2008

Tsewang Phuntso
Liaison Officer - Latin America
241 East 32nd Street
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 213 5010 extn. 11

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