Former Special Envoy Lodi Gyari. (Phayul file photo)
DHARAMSHALA, January 1: Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, the former Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, said the stalled dialogue process with China failed to make much progress under the decade-long leadership of President Hu Jintao. He pointed out that prospects for negotiations in fact declined after Hu, who as the communist party head of Tibet in 1989 had declared martial law in Tibet which lasted a full 419 days, took over.
He was speaking at an international conference
on the implications of the leadership transition in China here in the Tibetan exile headquarters of Dharamshala, Sunday.
Lodi Gyari, who has more than three decades of experience in dealing with China, stressed that negotiations with Beijing will not be possible without the name as well as the role of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan spiritual leader devolved his entire political authorities to the elected Tibetan leadership in 2011.
The former special envoy, who led nine rounds of official talks with China from 2002-10, before resigning last year, noted that consistency in retaining the main objective of the talks throughout the process was necessary while dealing with China.
Lodi Gyari and Envoy Kesang Gyaltsen resigned in May 2012, citing the deteriorating situation inside Tibet and their “utter frustration” over the lack of positive response from China.
Expressing doubts over the notion that a democratic China will help resolve the Tibet issue, Lodi Gyari pointed out that while Tibet must not wait hoping for change in China, the absence of a paramount leader in Beijing might prove unfavourable for a substantive decision on Tibet.
When asked about the future prospects of the dialogue process under China’s new leader Xi Jinping, the former special envoy said he remains hopeful considering reports that Xi’s style of working is similar to that of former president Jiang Zemin, who according to him took interest in Tibet.
Lodi Gyari added that the only way forward for Tibet, in the absence of other viable options, is to persist with the dialogue process with China.
The three-day conference from December 28 to 30 titled, Conference of China Scholars on Leadership Transition in China: Implications for the Chinese, Tibetans and Others was organised by the Tibet Policy Institute of the Central Tibetan Administration.