Dalai Lama's envoys resign
Dharamsala, June 3 (IANS) Two envoys of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who had been talking to Chinese officials on granting autonomy to Tibet for nearly a decade, have resigned, an official said here Sunday.
Resignation of special envoy Lodi Gyari and envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen had been accepted by Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay, Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) spokesperson Thubten Samphel told IANS.
He said the resignation came to effect from June 1.
"The Tibetan political and spiritual leadership will make new appointments," he said.
Before the Dalai Lama shed political and administrative powers in May last year, he only had powers to appoint envoys.
"Now Sangay will make appointments after consulting cabinet colleagues. But before taking any call on the issue, he will consult the Dalai Lama," a CTA official said.
The Dalai Lama's envoys and Chinese officials had held nine rounds of talks since 2002 to resolve the Tibetan issue, without achieving any major breakthrough.
The last meeting took place in January 2010.
A CTA statement said that at the Tibetan task force meeting from May 30-31 in Dharamsala, the envoys expressed their frustration over the lack of positive response from the Chinese side and submitted their resignations to Sangay.
"Given the deteriorating situation inside Tibet since 2008 leading to increasing cases of self-immolations by Tibetans, we are compelled to submit our resignations," said the envoys in their resignation letter.
"Furthermore, the United Front Work Department did not respond positively to the memorandum on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people presented in 2008 and its note in 2010," they said in the letter.
After their resignations, Sangay said: "They have worked extremely hard in challenging circumstances and made earnest efforts to move the dialogue process forward and resolve the issue of Tibet peacefully. They will remain senior members of the task force".
The task force was set up in 1999 to assist the envoys in holding talks with the Chinese.
"The task force will be expanded and will meet again in December to discuss the Chinese leadership transition with the hope of continuing to dialogue with the new Chinese leaders to resolve the issue of Tibet peacefully," the CTA statement added.
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