Lodi Gyari

Lodi Gyari

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) welcomes the announcement by the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama that Special Envoy Lodi Gyari and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen, accompanied by two senior assistants, will depart today for China. The delegation traveled to Beijing and Lhasa in September 2002 in a visit that was described by the Tibetans after their return as an exercise in confidence-building between the two sides.

“The International Campaign for Tibet strongly supports and works to promote a negotiated solution for Tibet,” said Mary Beth Markey, ICT U.S. Executive Director.

“We hope that this second visit indicates sincere desire on China’s part to resolve the Tibet issue through dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives and is not simply a hollow gesture to ease international concern,” said Markey.

“While fundamental freedoms continue to be systematically denied Tibetans by Beijing, the urgent question for the international Tibet movement must be whether or not this visit will be a result-oriented exchange,” Markey concluded.

On May 8, 2003, President Bush submitted a “Tibet Negotiations” report to the Congress that attested to the U.S. administration’s repeated calls for dialogue between the Chinese leadership and the Dalai Lama or his representatives. Reacting to this report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said on May 22 that the Tibet issue is an internal affair of China and reiterated conditions for negotiations with the Dalai Lama, including that “he abandon support for Tibetan independence” and “stop separatist activities aimed at splitting China.”

The Dalai Lama has repeatedly stated that he seeks genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people within the People’s Republic of China.

ICT urges the U.S. and other governments to continue to make known to China their strong support for a negotiated solution for Tibet and not to moderate their advocacy until dialogue achieves fundamental freedoms for the Tibetan people and safeguards Tibet’s unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity.

Follow this link for the statement by Special Envoy Lodi Gyari, head of the delegation sent by the Dalai Lama to China.