The Chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet, Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche, has said that the re-established contact with the Chinese leadership is still on and that there was hope for a positive change.

In an address to the Tibetan people, made in Dharamsala on the occasion of the 44th anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day on September 2, 2004, the Kalon Tripa said although there have been obstacles on the basic issue of dialogue effort was on to create a conducive atmosphere. He appreciated the assistance of the Tibetan public in this regard and appealed again in the light of the appearance of slackening in recent times.

The Kalon Tripa said that the Kashag had been giving equal importance to two efforts having long term consequence and that this decision was based on the Dalai Lama’s advice that we need to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. While working towards resolving the Tibetan issue through peaceful negotiations (with the Chinese leadership), he said efforts are also being made to sustain and promote the traditional Tibetan cultural heritage and identity (in exile) in case the solution takes time to materialize.

The Kalon Tripa also briefed the Tibetan people about steps and initiatives being taken by his Administration to look after the welfare of the Tibetan people, particularly the downtrodden, improving health and educational facilities. He said the final Integrated Development Plan for the Tibetan community in exile for the period 2004-2007 had provisions for 534 projects.

The Chairman of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies, Mr, Pema Jungney, also gave an address in which he highlighted the challenges of the Tibetan democratic process.

The first elected representative body in Tibet’s history- – the Commission of Tibetan People’s Deputies (later renamed the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies) — took office on September 2, 1960. Since then the Tibetan community in exile have been observing this historic date as Democracy Day.