Tibet: Dalai Lama Reaches Rome to Attend Convention
"His Holiness the Dalai Lama this (Monday 16 November 2009) afternoon reached Rome to attend the fifth World Parliamentarians' Convention on Tibet that will begin from Wednesday," Chimme Choekyappa, private secretary to the Dalai Lama, told.
He said that the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Samdong Rinpoche will also address the convention.
"An 18-member Tibetan parliamentary delegation led by speaker Penpa Tsering will also take part in the convention," the aide said.
The convention has been organised jointly by the Tibetan parliament-in-exile, the Italian Parliamentarian Group for Tibet and the International Campaign for Tibet, Europe.
The World Parliamentarians' Convention on Tibet aims to promote the cause of Tibet through a unified network of parliamentarians for Tibet, and to facilitate meaningful negotiation between the Dalai Lama's envoys and the People's Republic of China.
The two sides - China and envoys of the Dalai Lama - have held eight rounds of talks since 2002 to try and find a solution to the Tibetan issue.
During the eighth round of negotiations in November 2008, differences between the Chinese and the exiles cropped up over the memorandum on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people submitted by the exiles. The Chinese rejected the proposal.
Regarding China's accusation that the memorandum sought independence in disguise, Sonam N. Dagpo, secretary of international affairs of the government-in-exile, has told IANS that: "We want to settle the issue mutually and within the framework of the Chinese constitution, law and national regional autonomy. We do not hold any secret agenda."
Over 100,000 Tibetans live in India. The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 and came to India. His government-in-exile is headquartered here.