TSG Conference asks China to resume dialogue for Tibetan autonomy

From left: Master of Ceremonies, Aurora Delcroix; Member of European Parliament, Csaba Sogor; Vice President of the German Parliament, Claudia Roth; Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration, Lobsang Sangay; Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, Khenpo Sonam Tenphel; and Secretary of the Department of Information and International Relations, CTA, Sonam Norbu Dagpo; after the closing session of the Seventh Tibet Support Groups Conference in Brussels, Belgium, on 10 September 2016.

From left: Master of Ceremonies, Aurora Delcroix; Member of European Parliament, Csaba Sogor; Vice President of the German Parliament, Claudia Roth; Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration, Lobsang Sangay; Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, Khenpo Sonam Tenphel; and Secretary of the Department of Information and International Relations, CTA, Sonam Norbu Dagpo; after the closing session of the Seventh Tibet Support Groups Conference in Brussels, Belgium, on 10 September 2016. Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

By Lobsang Wangyal

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 10 September 2016

The three-day Seventh Tibet Support Groups Conference in Brussels, Belgium, came to an end with 250 delegates from 50 countries expressing concern over the worsening human rights situation in Tibet, and reaffirming their dedication towards the Tibetan cause until a satisfactory solution has been achieved.

The members expressed their solidarity with the non-violent struggle of the Tibetan people for freedom and for the restoration of their fundamental human rights, and called on the Chinese government to unconditionally resume dialogue with the representative of the Dalai Lama and to respond positively to his efforts to pursue a mutually-beneficial solution through the Middle-Way approach, which calls for genuine autonomy for the whole of the Tibetan people.

The members urged governments to resist Chinese government pressure to endorse China’s claim to Tibet, and to persuade China’s leaders to abandon their shameless preconditions.

Apart from concerns over the repression of religious freedom and the suppression of the Tibetan national identity and language under the increasingly authoritarian regime, the conference expressed concern over the impact of China’s policies on Tibet’s fragile and globally vital environment, notably the damming of rivers in Tibet, mining activities, and coercive settlement of nomads, which all are said to exacerbate the impacts of climate change in Tibet and the surrounding regions.

Lauding the participation of the Chinese lawyers, scholars, and human rights activists, the conference said that their deliberations and engagements showed growing understanding and solidarity between the Chinese and the Tibetan people.

Claudia Roth, Vice President of the German Parliament, was the chief guest on the closing ceremony, and spoke at length in support of the Tibetan cause, saying “I support the Tibetan people, I support the Tibetan non-violent resistance, out of deepest conviction, and based on an irrevocable understanding of Human Rights as being the universal and indivisible foundation of all our lives.”

This seventh in the series of the Tibet Support Groups Conferences was organised by Tibet Interest Group in the European Parliament, and co-hosted by the International Campaign for Tibet, Lights on Tibet, Les Amis du Tibet, and the Tibetan Community in Belgium.

The Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration coordinated the conference.


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