Lhasa – China’s government in Tibet has claimed that the Dalai Lama is in talks with Beijing through “personal envoys” on the possibility of returning to Tibet.
Wu Yingjie, Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party Committee for Tibet, told Indian journalists in Lhasa that the talks were “ongoing and always smooth, but we are discussing only his future, not Tibet’s.”
Wu said several Tibetan leaders had returned to Tibet in the recent past, citing the case of a senior Lama in Chengdu province who was earlier living in Switzerland. “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 said.
Wu also answered a question on why a round of talks, held through envoys in 2010, broke down after nine rounds of back and forth. The terms put forward by the Dalai Lama’s envoys had been unacceptable Wu said.
“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 said, referring to the Indian state that is situated on the Indo-China border and is also claimed by China to be part of its territory.
Wu also said a proposal by the Prime Minister of the self-styled “Tibetan government in exile,” Lobsang Sangay, for a larger region to be included in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, was unacceptable.
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is a high lama in the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Buddhism that is practiced in Tibet. He is seen as a manifestation of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteswara.
At the age of 23, he fled Tibet fearing for his life during the Tibetan Uprising, a revolt against the Communist Party of China that controlled Tibet at the time. He crossed into India and has lived there in political asylum.