News Report: Head of Exiled Tibetan Government Says More Talks With China Later This Year

March 9, 2005

Samdhong Rinpoche, head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, said that a fourth round of talks between the Dalai Lama's envoys and Chinese officials would take place "later this year," according to a report by the Press Trust of India (PTI) transcribed in FBIS. He did not provide further detail, but noted that talks in 2004 had "helped remove a lot of misconceptions and enhance mutual confidence." Referring to the time since the Dalai Lama fled into exile in March 1959, Samdhong said that "forty years is not a long time in Tibet's history." He summarized the Tibetan position saying, "We demand for autonomy to be granted to Tibet within the Chinese constitution like in the case of Hong Kong and Macao," according to the report. The Dalai Lama's envoys, Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, visited China in 2002, 2003, and 2004. They met with officials in Beijing and traveled to the Tibet Autonomous Region and ethnic Tibetan areas of Qinghai, Sichuan, and Yunnan provinces.