May 9, 2002
   Posted in News Flash
Published By Tashi


Geneva/Rome, 8 May: An Italian Parliamentary Group for Tibet was established with a membership of 90 Parliamentarians representing all the major political parties in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. At a
Press Conference held inside the Italian Parliament in Rome today, Mr. Gianni Vernetti, MP, the President of the Group, made a formal announcement about the establishment of the Parliamentary Group.

Representatives of six Political Parties including Forza Italia, the ruling Party also spoke at the Conference. They expressed their continued support for the just cause and aspirations of the Tibetan people.” The formation of the Italian Parliamentary Group for Tibet sends a strong message to the Chinese authorities about the growing international concern over the tragic
situation in Tibet”, Mr. Chhime R. Chhoekyapa, Representative of H. H. the Dalai Lama in Geneva, Switzerland, told the press conference.

The members of the Italian Parliamentary Group for Tibet proposed to visit Dharamsala to meet with Tibetan Government officials and the members of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, and also decided to extend an invitation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to visit Italy in the near future.

In one of the first task, the Parliamentary Group will be working to submit a draft resolution on Tibet for consideration by the Chamber of Deputies.
The draft resolution makes the following calls:

– Resumption of dialogue leading to negotiations between the Tibetan Government in Exile in Dharamsala and the Chinese Government to find a mutually acceptable solution to the future status of Tibet;

– Respect for the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people;

– Recognition of the Tibetan Government in Exile as the real representative of the Tibetan people by governments in the European Union, if Beijing does not grant full autonomy for Tibet within three years.

The draft resolution also urges the Italian Government to back the appointment of a Special Representative for Tibetan Affairs in the European Union.

Also present at the Press Conference were Mr. Paolo Pobbiati (Amnesty International-Italy), Mr. Piero Verni (Italia-Tibet Association), Mr. Claudio Techhio (Italian Trade Union CISL), and Mr. Nyima Thondup, a Tibetan teacher in Rome.

On behalf of the Tibetan Government in Exile, Mr. Chhoekyapa thanked the Italian parliamentarians for establishing a formal Parliamentary Group for Tibet, which has representatives from all major political parties. He welcomed the initiative as a reflection of the wide support across Italy towards the non-violent struggle for freedom and justice of the Tibetan people.

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