Efforts on to restart talks with China: Tibetan PM-in-exile

Dharamsala, Sep 19: Efforts are on to restart the stalled talks between the envoys of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese officials, Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay said Monday, adding the Chinese ‘are not reciprocating’.

‘We are ready to negotiate with the Chinese anytime, anywhere, but they are not reciprocating,’ Sangay said while announcing the portfolios in the newly-constituted cabinet — a blend of old and new faces.

Sangay, who was once dubbed a ‘terrorist’ by China because of his earlier association with the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest radical group of exiles, said efforts would continue to restart the talks within the framework of the constitution of China.

China and the Dalai Lama’s envoys have held nine rounds of talks since 2002 to resolve the Tibetan issue. But no major breakthrough has been achieved so far.

In the cabinet, Dolma Gyari, three-time former deputy speaker of the Tibetan parliament, has been named the new home minister. She is among the three new faces in the cabinet.

Dongchung Ngodup and Tsering Dhundup, both former ministers in the previous cabinet, have been given security and finance portfolios, respectively.

Pema Chhinjor, also a former minister and senior-most member of Sangay’s cabinet, has been allocated religion and culture, while Dicki Chhoyang has got information and international relations and Tsering Wangchuk health.

Sangay has kept with himself the crucial portfolio of education.

The department of education is crucial as the government-in-exile runs more than 100 schools in Tibetan settlements across the globe. In his inaugural speech after being sworn-in last month, Sangay promised to bring out 10,000 professionals in the next two decades.

On formation of his cabinet, Sangay told reporters that ‘all three regions have been given equal representation in the cabinet’.

On getting parliament’s unanimous approval of the names of the cabinet members proposed by him, Sangay said, ‘A strong message has been sent to China stating we Tibetans are united’.

Sangay announced the cabinet on the first day of the inaugural session of the 15th Tibetan Parliament Sep 16.

Based in Dharamsala, the government-in-exile is not recognised by any country. There are about 140,000 Tibetans in exile, over 100,000 of them in India.

IANS