Representatives of the Dalai Lama said on Monday that they will sit down for talks with Chinese officials, as international pressure builds for the two sides to ease tensions following anti-government riots that rocked Tibet. The prime minister of the self-proclaimed Tibetan government in exile confirmed that envoys Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, who arrived in Beijing on Monday evening, would hold the two days of talks starting Tuesday.
“This will be the continuation of the formal dialogue, which started in 2002,” said Samdhong Rinpoche.
The meetings follow informal talks held in early May in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen that ended with an offer from Beijing for future discussions.
“His holiness the Dalai Lama has instructed the envoys to make every effort to bring about tangible progress to alleviate the difficult situation for Tibetans in their homeland,” a statement from the Dalai Lama’s office said.
China said an invitation had been extended to the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, but gave no other details. “Our door is always open for dialogue with the Dalai Lama. (We) hope that the Dalai Lama would treasure this opportunity and give a positive response to the requirements of the central authorities,” an unnamed government official was quoted as saying by Xinhua
Pressure has been growing on both sides to improve relations in the wake of the riots and protests that hit the Tibetan capital of Lhasa and other areas of China with Tibetan populations in March.