Senior Chinese official says Dharamsala-Beijing talks only about return of Dalai Lama
DHARAMSALA, Aug 25: A senior Chinese official in Tibet has claimed that the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is in talks with Beijing, however, he stressed that the talks are only about the possibility of the Tibetan leaders return to Tibet.
The talks with the Dalai Lama were “ongoing and always smooth, but we are discussing only his future, not Tibet’s,” Indian media reports quoted Wu Yingjie, the Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party Committee for Tibet, as telling a group of journalists from India, Nepal and Bhutan in Lhasa on Sunday.
“All Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama and the people around him, can return if they accept Tibet and Taiwan as part of China, and give up ‘splittist’ efforts,” he had said.
Wu Yinjie held ‘unacceptable demands’ made by the envoys from Dharamsala, such as withdrawal of Chinese army from Tibet, responsible for the breakdown of political talks between Beijing and Dharamsala after nine rounds in 2010.
“How can the Dalai Lama demand that China withdraw its army from Tibet? The army is a symbol of our state. Will India agree to withdraw its Army from Arunachal Pradesh?” he had countered while responding to a question from an Indian journalist on the stalled talks.
Mr Wu also rejected the proposal by the elected head of the Tibetan people, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, for a larger region (all the three traditional Tibetan province of U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo) to be included in the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
Mr Wu further stated that livelihood of Tibetans in the TAR has greatly improved due to the development projects and investments made by the central government in Tibet, that Tibetans are “happy” with the change that has been brought in by the Chinese government.
On the contrary, Tibetans in exile and right groups say at least 131 Tibetans have set themselves on fire protesting against repressive Chinese policies in Tibet and calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.