May 3, 2008
   Posted in News Flash
Published By Tashi

US supports talks between His Holiness’ Envoys and China

Saturday, 3 May 2008, 2:40 p.m.

Dharamshala: The United States
has expressed support for a meeting between the Chinese government and
the representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Tom Casey addressing a daily press briefing

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Special Envoy Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and
Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen are in China to hold informal talks with
representatives of the Chinese leadership.

“In terms of our views on conversations with the Chinese and
representatives of the Dalai Lama, obviously, we’ve been calling for
that for a long time. We certainly support the statements, as the
President said yesterday, that the Chinese Government has said they’re
willing to have this meeting take place,” said Deputy Spokesman Tom
Casey at a daily press briefing on 2 May.

US President George W. Bush on Thursday urged China to hold
substantive dialogue with the representatives of His Holiness the Dalai
Lama to address the deep and legitimate concerns of the Tibetan people.

Tom Casey said, “We certainly want to see it take place and
believe that dialogue between the Dalai Lama and his representatives
and the Chinese Government is really the best way to address some of
the fundamental issues in Tibet, and will allow for a real
communication and a real discussion of those issues between the Chinese
Government and an individual and his representatives who really is
revered among people in the area and who is an important spiritual
leader for many.”

Responding to a question on what US consider as deep and
legitimate concerns of Tibetans, Casey said, “I don’t think that we
need to catalog for the Tibetan people what their basic concerns are,”
said Casey.

“We have a situation in Tibet where people feel that they are
unable to freely practice their religion, freely practice some of their
cultural traditions and values. And this is an ongoing problem. These
are things that we would hope would be able to be discussed,” he said.

“Certainly, the Dalai Lama himself has said that he is not
calling for any kind of change in the political status of Tibet. He’s
not calling for independence, but calling for a discussion with the
Chinese Government to help resolve some of these issues and allow
people to be able to enjoy some of these basic rights,’ he added.

During their brief visit to China, the envoys of His Holiness
the Dalai Lama will take up the urgent issue of the current crisis in
the Tibetan areas. They will convey His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s deep
concerns about the Chinese authorities’ handling of the situation and
also provide suggestions to bring peace to the region.

Since the Chinese leadership has indicated, publicly as well as
in briefings given to foreign governments, its position on the
continuation of the dialogue, the envoys will raise the issue of moving
forward on the process for a mutually satisfactory solution to the
Tibetan issue.

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