Bratislava, 5 June: Five Slovakian Parliamentarians including the Chairman of the Slovakian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee welcomed the Tibetan Parliamentary Delegation today at the Slovakian Parliament in Bratislava. Mr. Martin Poliacik, the chairman of the Tibet Group of the Slovakian Parliament organized the meeting.
“I wish to express my solidarity with the Tibetan people,” said Mr. František Šebej, the Chairman of the Slovakian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
He said that he was happy to fly the Tibetan national flag every year on 10 March. This year, 160 Tibetan flags were hoisted across Slovakia.
The delegation is lead by Khenpo Lopon Sonam Tenphel, the Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile based in Dharamsala. The other members of the delegation were Mr Karma Chophel, Mr. Dawa Phunkyi and Mr. Jamyang Soepa.
“There is no freedom of any sort in Tibet. Tibetans continue to be oppressed due to the wrong policies in Tibet which has resulted in the self-immolation of 130 Tibetans since 2009,” said Mr. Karma Choephel on behalf of the delegation.
Mr. Choephel said Tibetans in the free world have a moral duty to speak on behalf of fellow Tibetans living Tibet and seek support for the Tibetan issue on their behalf.
He said that the delegations’ main objective was to highlight the very urgent situation in Tibet.
“We seek your support for the Middle Way Approach to resolve the Tibetans issue with China through dialogue. We are not seeking independence or separation from China but want genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people,” he said.
He called on the Tibet Group within the Slovakian Parliament to impress the Chinese government to re-start the dialogue with Tibetans.
Mr. Poliacik said on 10 March 2014, the Tibet Group of the Slovakian Parliament requested the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan issue through dialogue.
In the evening, a panel discussion on Tibet was organized at the prestigious Zichyho Palace in the city centre. Mr. Choephel and Prof. Martin Slobodnik, a China expert of the Comenius University of Bratislava were the main speakers.
Responding to a question from the audience, Mr Choephel said, yes there are different opinions in the Tibetan community. But the Tibetan Administration’s official policy to resolve the Tibetan issue through dialogue is the Middle Way Approach.
Prof. Martin Slobodnik said that though the situation in Tibet was extremely difficult, yet he saw three opportunities for Tibetans to cultivate positive attitude from the Chinese towards the Tibetans.
He said the existing contacts between the Tibetans and the Chinese intellectuals must be strengthened. As more and more Chinese tourist visit Tibet, they will witness the actual situation of the Tibetans in Tibet. The third area was to change the stereotype Chinese attitude towards Tibetans amongst the growing number of Chinese Buddhist.
In concluding the panel discussion, Mr. Poliacik asked the audience to tell their family members, friends, neighbours and write a blog about the Tibetan issue, so that more people become aware of the Tibetan issue.
The delegation has visited Belgium, Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Tomorrow they will travel Austria and Switzerland.