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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

No Indo-Tibet barter trade this season

October 20, 2008

Economic Times/Press Trust of India (PTI)
October 19, 2008

DEHRADUN -- For the first time in two decades, the seasonal barter
trade between India and Tibet will not take place this year as the
Chinese government has not allowed Indian traders to enter Tibet
through Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand.

Though the annual barter trade, which was scheduled to begin from
June, was earlier postponed due to Beijing Olympics. A group of
businessmen and porters, who tried to cross the border in August,
were turned back from Taklakot by the Chinese authorities citing
internal security reasons.

Due to lack of transport and other infrastructure facilities, traders
trek from hilly terrains of Pithoragarh to reach Taklakot where the
barter trade has been taking place since 1992 after a hiatus of 30 years.

This season, 60 trade passes were issued. But so far, no trader has
been able to reach Taklakot.

"There is no permission from China for barter trade this season,"
Pithoragarh district official said.

However, a group of traders left for Taklakot early this month. But
the officials said the traders, who are camping at Gunji, would not
be able to cross Lipulekh Pass due to inclement weather and heavy snowfall.

The volume of the Indo-Tibet trade has decreasing during the past
three years. Last year, it registered the business to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore.

Indian traders are peeved at government's inability to resume trade
this season. They have also been demanding for revocation of ban on
import of some Chinese items like raw silk and livestock which are in
great demand in Indian markets.
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