His Holiness’ representative in Geneva reiterates call for genuine autonomy
Thursday, 11 September 2008, 11:07 a.m.
Tseten S Chhoekyapa, representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
(extreme right) during the conference at Prague Security Studies
Institute. Czech Republic’s former President, Václav Havel is seen
sitting on third from left.
Geneva: The representative of
His Holiness the Dalai Lama-based in Geneva, Mr Tseten Samdup
Chhoekyapa, reiterated that His Holiness is not seeking independence
for Tibet or separation from People’s Republic of China, but asking for
a genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people.
Mr Chhoekyapa was one of the speaker during a panel discussion
on “Regional Democracy and Human Rights”, at a conference on
“Asia-Pacific Security Challenges – Implications for Europe and the
Atlantic Alliances”, held in Prague from 7 – 9 September.
The two-day conference, organized by the Prague Security
Studies Institute, was attended by more than 150 delegates from all
over the world.
Representative Chhoekyapa said Tibet once a buffer state
between the world’s two most populated states – China and India – is
today a militarized zone. Even after 50 years of occupation, China
continues to ruthlessly suppress the Tibetans.
He added that the merciless repression by the Chinese security
forces on peaceful Tibetan protesters in March this year, resulted in
over 200 killed, 6,000 arrested and thousands injured.
He said Tibetan people want to save Tibet’s rich culture, language and identity.
He said Tibetans in Tibet are rendered minority and continue to
live in fear and discrimination, while China has made economic and
He described the critical situation in Tibet as a manifestation
of decades of Chinese repression – human rights violations, cultural
and political discrimination of the Tibetan people.
He expressed deep concern on Beijing’s policy of the massive
migration of Han Chinese into Tibet and efforts to dilute Tibetan
culture and undermine people’s religious belief.
Other keynote speakers at the conference included Czech
Republic’s former president, Václav Havel, Czech foreign minister,
Karel Schwarzenberg and Mr Anand Sharma, India’s minister of State for
In his address, Mr Václav Havel said: “Human freedom, human rights and human dignity must be respected in any society.”
Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg said that human rights are the corner stone of Czech foreign policy.
While speaking on global security concerns in the 21st century,
Mr Anand Sharma said that climate, food and energy challenges were no
longer regional, but global issues.