Statement of Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari, Head of the Tibetan Delegation, following the 8th round of discussions

Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen and I, accompanied by senior aides Sonam N. Dagpo and Bhuchung K. Tsering, both members of the Task Force on Sino-Tibetan Negotiations, and Kalsang Tsering from the Secretariat of the Task Force, visited China from October 30 to November 5, 2008. We returned to India on November 6, 2008.

The main purpose of this trip was to follow up on the discussions held during the seventh round in July this year. We presented a memorandum to the Chinese leadership on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people.

In Beijing we met with Mr. Du Qinglin, Vice Chariman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Minister of the Central United Front Work Department, on November 4, 2008. We also had a day-long discussion Mr. Zhu Weiqun, Executive Vice Minister, and Mr. Sithar, Vice Minister of the Central United Front Work Department, on November 5, 2008. An official from the Tibet Autonomous Region, Pema Trinley, Executive Vice Governor, was also present in the Chinese side. We had a briefing, organized by the United Front, by experts on Chinese Constitution and the Law on Regional National Autonomy at the China Tibetology Research Center. It was moderated by Mr. Lhakpa Phuntsok, Director of the Center. We also visited the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

This morning we briefed Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche, Chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet, in New Delhi about our discussions. As a special general meeting of the Tibetan people is being convened later this month at the suggestion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we have been advised not to make statements about our discussions before this meeting.

Our host for this visit was the Central United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party. The United Front Work Departments of Beijing City and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region were also involved with our visit. We thank them for their hospitality.

New Delhi
November 6, 2008