A sad day for the hopes of a peaceful reconciliation between China and Tibetans:
Kalon Tripa Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Head of the Central Tibetan Administration, regretfully accepted the resignations of Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama Lodi G. Gyari and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen. The resignations became effective June 1, 2012.
Special Envoy Lodi Gyari, assisted by Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen, led the Tibetan team in nine rounds of talks with representatives of the Chinese government starting in 2002.
At the Task Force meeting on May 30-31, 2012 in Dharamsala, the envoys expressed their utter frustration over the lack of positive response from the Chinese side and submitted their resignations to the Kalon Tripa. “Given the deteriorating situation inside Tibet since 2008 leading to the increasing cases of self-immolations by Tibetans, we are compelled to submit our resignations. Furthermore, the United Front did not respond positively to the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People presented in 2008 and its Note in 2010. One of the key Chinese interlocutors in the dialogue process even advocated abrogation of minority status as stipulated in the Chinese constitution thereby seeming to remove the basis of autonomy. At this particular time, it is difficult to have substantive dialogue,” stated the two envoys in their resignation letter.
The Tibetan Task Force on Negotiations will be expanded and will meet again in December 2012 to discuss the Chinese leadership transition with the hope of continuing to dialogue with the new Chinese leaders to resolve the issue of Tibet peacefully.
It seems like this is also a good point for everyone involved to stop and rethink what they’ve been doing. If Gyari couldn’t work with the Chinese despite having the backing of the Dalai Lama, will future envoys have any better luck? As much as Beijing hates the Dalai Lama, they at least acknowledge him as a legitimate Tibetan figure. They’ve never accorded as much to the Central Tibetan Administration, which is what the new envoys will be representing. Perhaps it’s time to rethink the Middle-Way Approach, or at least how they’re pursuing it.