DHARAMSHALA, 10 March: Expressing concern over the tragic self-immolations of Tibetans inside Tibet under the repression of the Chinese government, the visiting parliamentary delegation from Italy reiterated that the United Nations must monitor human rights situation in Tibet.
“With our presence today we want show our solidarity especially during this terrible time for Tibet and for the Tibetan people,” said Mr Gianni Vernetti, Member of Italian Parliament, in his statement on the 53rd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day in Dharamsala. Mr Vernetti is also the president of the Parliamentary Initiative for Democracy in China, Member of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the House and former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
“I cannot forget all those Tibetans driven to self-immolation in protest against the régime of the People’s Republic of China which continues to deny the Tibetan minority their fundamental rights,” said Mr Vernetti, who headed a four-member parliamentary delegation to Dharamsala coinciding with the Tibetan National Uprising Day.
Mr Vernetti blamed the PRC’s policy since it’s military occupation of Tibet for the self-immolation incidents. “These episodes are evidence of the extreme despair to which Tibetan people and religious have been driven by the systematic denial of one of the most important fundamental rights – the freedom of expression and freedom to freely practise their religion. For more than sixty years after the military occupation of Tibet in 1959, the government of the People’s Republic of China has been implementing a policy of human rights are being systematically denied to the Tibetan people. They are deprived of all political freedom, the Tibetan language and culture are being gradually assimilated, there is no religious freedom and even being in possession of an image of the Dalai Lama is a criminal offence, while the Tibetan people are being systematically marginalised from economic activities and access to education,” he said.
He made a special metion about the resolution on Tibet that he introduced and which was passed by the Italian Parliament with a very positive discussion by MPs from all the parties on 8 February. “We clearly ask the Italian and the European Governments to promote a formal steps vis-à-vis the People’s Republic of China, requesting the immediate cessation of the violene against the Tibetan people and Tibetan monks and nuns, and the establishment of a climate of dialogue and tolerance in the areas populated by the Tibetan people.”
“We call the Chinese government to suspend implementation of religious control regulations in Tibet, stop violence, and free political prisoners,” he said.
“We also call the Chinese government to resume the dialogue with the Tibetan government-in-exile and to establish an open channel of communications with envoys of the Dalai Lama so as to reach a jointly agreed solution that will enable the Tibetan community in China to enjoy genuine autonomy,” he said.
“We call the Chinese government to release all persons that have been arbitrarily detained, to cease intimidation, harassment and detention of peaceful protestors, and to allow unrestricted access to journalists, foreign diplomats and international organisations to Tibet,” he said.
“Tibet has to be re-opened to the outside world, guaranteeing the international media free and unconditional access. We urge the specialised agencies of the United Nations, and in particular the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Council, to monitor respect for human rights in Tibet,” Mr Vernetti said.
Mr Vernetti said thanked the Tibetans in exile for their remarkable efforts in building a vibrant democratic system during the difficult years of exile. “You’ve build democratic institutions: an elected Parliament, and on 20 March last year a competitive multi-candidate election that was free, fair and met international electoral standards. You invested on democracy and on the preservation of your unique cultural heritage that is under serious risk to disappear under the Chinese repressive regime. We congratulate you for all that was done during this long time of exile,” he said.
To China, he said, China is an important economic power but if she wants to become a responsible, trusted and respected global player, she needs to move towards a democratic system. This will be the only way to really achieve harmony and stability. Free market is not enough, people everywhere in the world need freedom and democracy as well.