Five member UK delegation in Dharamshala
A leading 5-member delegation from the UK parliament, presently on a five-day historic visit to Dharamshala met the members of the Tibetan parliament in exile to discuss ways in which the members can give support to Tibet’s non-violent campaign for freedom and self-determination.
Harry Cohen, MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet said, “We are further strengthened in our resolve to provide solidarity for the cause of genuine Tibetan autonomy and will continue to help in any way we can.”
Cohen added, “We have seen also examples of Tibetans’ distinct cultural identity in their schools and arts,” adding, “that identity needs to be saved for the world, but it is also the Tibetans’ right to express it in their own homeland.”
In his address, Norman Baker, MP and President of the Tibet Society said, “There is a very strong development of democracy in Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, and a robust parliament.”
He added, “We are honored to meet the Dalai Lama yesterday for a very long interesting session,” adding, “the audience was proactive and practical, with His Holiness speaking frankly about his concerns for the Tibetan people.”
He said” We are very conscious as British MPs for the role we must play in order to take matter forward in a more constructive way on the issue Tibet,”
“We recognize the strong historic link between Tibet and United Kingdom , and it is a historic fact that Tibet is an independent country,” Baker said.
He said the members are concerned about the consequences of the construction of railway into Tibet, which brings large number of Han Chinese into Tibet , posing danger of population imbalance in Tibet.
“We are particularly concerned about the human rights situation and repression of religious freedom and the interference by the Beijing government in religious appointment,” he added.
Saying that the Chinese were not sincere during the six rounds of negotiations, Norman further added, we need to recognize the opportunity next year, when Beijing is in spotlight with the Olympics, to bring united message from British States and the European Union to engage Beijing to constructive dialogue.