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Dalai Lama Envoys Plan to Visit China

"Everything is decided except the timing of the visit, and we are in touch with concerned Chinese leadership."

Washington, D.C., May 4, 2005 - Envoys of the Dalai Lama will soon make their fourth trip to China, according to his Special Envoy in Washington Lodi Gyari.

"Everything is decided except the timing of the visit, and we are in touch with concerned Chinese leadership," said Gyari, who was a guest on the Voice of America's (VOA) Tibetan-language program, Talk to VOA. VOA's program, which began broadcasting March 23, is the first regularly scheduled TV show seen inside Tibet that has not been pre-approved by the Chinese authorities.

Gyari told VOA the Sino-Tibetan problem is an "extremely complex" issue that cannot be resolved within a short period of time. Last September, he and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen and two assistants visited Tibet and several locations in China. It was their third visit to China.

Gyari said that Tibetan exiles did not protest during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's mid-April visit to India, as they normally would have, because the Tibetan government-in-exile had urged Tibetans to refrain from demonstrating against the visit in order to create an atmosphere conducive to Tibetan-Chinese dialogue. Asked if this amounted to appeasement, he said the government-in-exile felt restraint was in the interest of the Tibetan people. Gyari pointed out that despite his government's stance, the Tibetan Youth Congress, which advocates complete independence for Tibet, did manage to stage some protests despite stringent Indian security preparations.

Talk to VOA is a one-hour program and is broadcast weekly via satellite television, shortwave radio, and the Internet in real time. The Asiasat 2 network carries the television portion of the program.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages, including English.

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