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siykong-2016Dharamshala — Describing the situation continues to be grave in Tibet, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay said that the envoys of His Holiness Dalai Lama are ready to meet with their Chinese counterpart anywhere anytime.

On 18th of July 2016, a press conference was held where the Sikyong, Dr Sangay commented regarding the two-day meeting of the Task Force on Sino-Tibetan Negotiations recently held in Dharamshala, India.

First the Sikyong gave a brief description of what a typical Task Force meeting is like. He explained that the 28th meeting of the task force was just carried out which is an annual affair. Sometimes smaller meetings are called. In the previous Kashag they had six meetings whereas this is the first meeting. Whenever this meeting is held it is very helpful in gathering information and brain storming.

Dr Sangay said, "In this discussion we talked about international events, the upcoming American election, the developments between America and China. The BRIXIT, the U.K. withdraws from EU and what happens to China? In the short run China invested a lot in UK. So they were thinking of using UK as the platform to make their way to the EU, because other two big nations France and Germany did not go as close as UK did with China. In that sense what does it mean for Tibet?"

Mentioning Boris Johnson's foreign secretary position the Sikyong remarked, "What does it mean in a human rights context, in an environment context and politically on the issue of Tibet. So you have to analyze all that."

The Prime Minister also commented about India and China mentioning the NSG membership. "Recently China's objection to India's entry into NSG even though objections were made before quietly, this time China had to come out openly." He also said that Narendra Modi approached the Chinese president Xi Jinping face to face asking China to be fair as far as India's membership in NSG is concerned.

In continuation Dr Sangay said that the foreign secretary of India flew to Seoul to push for membership when China really came out openly objecting India's membership. The Task Force meeting sees the meaning of this in divisional politics on the issue of Tibet. He said similarly the Task Force meeting analyses things like the Taiwanese election and diplomatic cut off between Taiwan and China with Shinzo Abe wanting to amend the constitution. He said, "In this analysis you have to find where Tibet is and where Tibet should be."

The Sikyong said, "So generally there is a dilution if not decline of internationalism and liberalism and there is a rise of nationalism and extremism in a global context. So Tibet also being a freedom movement globally so where do we fit and this message of universal responsibility and this message of peace and our belief in non violence."

He exclaimed that's what the Task Force Meeting's analysis consists of mainly when it is held and the most important thing is that they analyze what's going on in China politically, economically, geopolitically and what is happening inside Tibet.

"So this is a very important brain storming session for us", said the Sikyong. He said it gives them lots of information and ideas that prepares them to see the coming months and years. So in that sense he said the meeting is very helpful.

Dr Sangay then differentiated what happens in a Task Force meeting from other sessions that help taking decisions. He said that "Task force is normally a brain storming session so that's where they discuss and people have different ideas and that's what we share."

After discussing about the Task Force meeting the Sikyong told Tibet Post International (TPI) about his stand on the Middle Way approach and his belief in dialogue. "As far as dialogue and voice are concerned and middle way is concerned, Middle way continues to be our policy. CTA believes in middle way and middle way is the right policy as far as solving the issue of Tibet is concerned. This is our proposition."

Dr Sangay also shared with TPI why urgency situations like self immolation were not mentioned in this time's press release and were talked about in the last one." In the previous press release we mentioned self immolations because many self immolations were taking place so in the preceding months we had a few cases of self immolation but the situation continues to be grave. But we have not highlighted that because we have not had self immolation recently. That's the only reason otherwise all self immolators those who have died, we always pray for them and express our solidarity with their family and extended relatives", he said.

Finally, the Sikyong told TPI how they will be ready anytime and anywhere to talk to the Chinese government even when the two representatives of His Holiness Dalai Lama have resigned." So in 2012 two envoys resigned because the situation was deteriorating, because the last visit was in January 2010. From January 2010 to June 2012, that's two and a half years they could not visit China and meet with their counterparts and with the increasing number of self immolation they resigned. Now what we say is we are ready anytime anywhere, the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are ready to meet with their Chinese counterpart anywhere anytime. That's what we say and what we believe and it's for the Chinese government to extend their hand so that we can clap together. So our hands are always extended."

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