(TibetanReview.net, Aug17’21) – The Task Force on Sino-Tibetan negotiation set up by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) way back in 1999 with the impossible task of recommending policy and strategies for getting China to take interest to resolve the issue of Tibet through negotiations has been wound up, as promised by Sikyong Penpa Tsering in his election campaign manifesto.
The decision was taken on Aug 13 and made public on Aug 16 with the announcement that a strategic planning committee will be set up to replace it.
Despite the impossibility of the task, a total of 32 task force meetings have been held till Dec 2019, with most of the members travelling from aboard.
Nine (or ten, according to the Chinese side) rounds of talks were held between envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and representatives of China’s United Front Work Department between 2002 and 2010. It ended in bitter acrimony with the Chinese side condemning the call by the Dalai Lama’s envoys for autonomy for Tibet under Chinese rule, as already provided under China’s constitution, just a version of demand for independence.
A disappointed special envoy, the late Mr Lodi Gyari, left his post just after the newly elected Sikyong of the CTA Dr Lobsang Sangay took his office in 2011. The Sikyong, who went on to serve two five-year terms, vowed to reach out to China in efforts to make a visit to China for the Dalai Lama possible and continued the task force meetings.