Agam's Gecko
Friday, May 02, 2008
Dalai Lama humour
Dalai Lama mimics the Chinese Communist Party's demonisation of himself to reporters in Narita, Japan on April 10, 2008.
Photo: AP / Katsumi Kasahara

wo envoys of Tibet will arrive in China tomorrow, a week after China's about-face on meeting representatives of the man they have so harshly demonized over the past two months (or should I say decades?).

Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, who have represented the Tibetans as representatives of His Holiness Dalai Lama during six years of intermittent and fruitless discussions with Chinese officials, will be engaging in what are termed "informal talks." They're probably enroute already.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Special Envoy Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen will arrive in China on May 3, 2008 for informal talks with representatives of the Chinese leadership.

During this brief visit, the envoys will take up the urgent issue of the current crisis in the Tibetan areas. They will convey His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s deep concerns about the Chinese authorities’ handling of the situation and also provide suggestions to bring peace to the region.

Since the Chinese leadership has indicated, publicly as well as in briefings given to foreign governments, its position on the continuation of the dialogue, the envoys will raise the issue of moving forward on the process for a mutually satisfactory solution to the Tibetan issue.

Chhime R. Chhoekyapa
Secretary to
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Lodi Gyari in Tibet
Lodi Gyari (centre, in black) was welcomed to Shiwa Monastery in Nyarong, Kham (Ch: Sichuan) during the Tibetan delegation's dialogue mission in September 2004. He will be leading the current Tibetan delegation to Beijing.
Photo: International Campaign for Tibet
The Tibetan side is surely under no illusions after working for six years to dispel Chinese government suspicion, and trying to build enough trust for meaningful exchanges. The tsunami of invective issuing from Beijing, since the Tibetan people began risking life and limb to deliver clear messages that the CCP's policies over half a century have totally failed in obliterating their national identity, is certainly enough to temper optimism with caution.
"We are hopeful that the Chinese are willing to address the Tibet issue realistically," Tenzin Taklha, a spokesman of the Dalai Lama, told Reuters from India, where the Tibetan government-in-exile is based.
I would advise the Tibetans to pick their hotel carefully. A US lawmaker has just accused the Chinese government of ordering American hotels in China to install spying software to keep an eye on Olympic visitors.
[Kansas Senator Sam] Brownback said he has seen the language of memos received by at least two U.S.-owned hotels. He declined to name them, and said he obtained the information from two "reliable but confidential sources" in the hope that public pressure would persuade the Chinese government to back off the demand.

The filters could enable the government to monitor Web sites viewed by hotel guests and restrict Internet information coming in and out of China, Brownback said.

The senator called China "the foremost enabler of human rights abuses around the world" and said the Chinese government is turning the summer games into "an Olympics of oppression."
An analysis of the strategy behind the coming talks was published just a few days ago by TibetInfoNet. It proposes the possibility that the shrill attacks may have been ground-preparing measures, similar to what Beijing has done regarding other issues.
For instance, the PRC refused for decades to acknowledge the State of Sikkim as a part of India, although it never appeared to have had any serious interest in the territory, and finally China quietly abandoned its position when the Indian government agreed to re-open the Nathu la, the pass that links Sikkim and Tibet. More recently, China has taken up a very similar issue about the neighbouring Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, likely with sight on future negotiations with India about the disputed common border. The Chinese nationalist demonstrations which flared up following state controlled media reports reprimanding the Tibet protests were, at least, effectively tolerated by the authorities. This appears to conform to the same pattern of creating bugbears to strengthen the Chinese position for discussions, in this case on Tibet, at a national and international level.
I've withheld judgement on China's sincerity until we can more clearly make out their intentions. Very soon now, we shall know.

Wai to my kind reader Dan for the heads up on the announcement.

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