Published By Jamphel Shonu

From left to right: Ms. Rigzin Choedon Genkhang, Ms. Gyongyver Forro, Ms. Harriet Clayton, Mr. Francesco Giorgi, Ms. Dalila Bernard at the press conference

Dharamshala: Four of the seven-member cross-party delegation, comprising of European Parliamentary Assistants, on their visit to Dharamshala from 21 May to 26 May held a Press Conference at DIIR Lhakpa Tsering Hall on 25 May.

Ms. Rigzin Choedon Genkhang, EU Advocacy Officer was first spokesman and she said “We actually wanted them to experience and witness the functionality of the Central Tibetan Administration”.

“Thanks to them we were able to pass a resolution to the European Parliament about the mass demolitions taking place in Larung Gar”.

Ms. Gyongyver Forro, assistant to MEP Csaba Sogor from the European Peoples Party (EPP) said that as she met with the Tibetan Leaders, students from Tibetan institutions, representatives of NGOs and other cultural centres, she could see how ‘brave’ the Tibetan people were and despite everything their humble nature.

She admired the way Tibetans have preserved their tradition, culture and language. She admired the way we were patient with our struggle for freedom in Tibet.

She said, “The Middle Way Approach can only be reached through dialogue and patience. We were losing patience in Europe but on this visit I am ashamed to have nearly lost patience. The aspirations of Tibetans here have not been dulled and as long as Tibetans strive to reach their goal we will not give up”.

Ms. Harriet Clayton, assistant to Scott-Cato from Green group said that she was very much surprised to see the awareness of young students of the Tibetan institutions regarding issues based on ‘degradation of the environment’. She explained how human rights and the environment are inter-related.

“It was very inspirational to hear from the Tibetan leaders and students of Tibetan institutions”, she added.

Press gathered at the conference

Mr. Francesco Giorgi, assistant to MEP Panzeri from Social and Democratic Group expressed the similarities between the Tibetans and the European Union on the grounds being both the European Union and His Holiness the Dalai Lama are Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. He was filled with admiration bearing witness to the persistence and patience of the Tibetans in keeping the hopes and dreams of freedom in Tibet alive.

“The persistence and patience of Tibetans to keep the dream alive is a source of inspiration for all the western nations and we in the European Parliament will do our part to echo the cause”, he said.

Ms. Dalila Bernard, assistant to MEP Preda from European People’s Party said that all the members of the delegation were committed to the cause of Tibet. “We mention Tibet whenever we get the chance”, she added. She said that she was glad to have been a part of the delegation and that nothing is more important than a first hand experience. She commended the hard work put in to preserve the Tibetan Language and Culture.

“It is not easy to talk about the quite conflict but not for us. We take it as a challenge to maintain Tibet in the agenda and make Tibet matter”, she added.

Many of the delegates had an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Brussels last September. Encouraged by the Office of Tibet, Brussels, subsequently an informal group of the Assistants was formed. All of them being strong supporters of Tibet. Their dedication and hard work enable their MEPs to make meaningful and consistent support to Tibet. Many of these MEPs are members of Tibet Interest Group (TIG) in the European Parliament.

Due to their involvement, as it may be recalled, the Office of Tibet, Brussels has been able to make high profile presence in the European Parliament and the European Union. The Urgency Resolution on Larung Gar, Nyima Lhamo’s hearing at the Human Rights Sub-Committee and the Conference on the Reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai La are some of the important ones.

The Seven-member delegation has been scheduled to meet with the leadership of the CTA, representatives of NGOs, Tibetan Schools, nunneries and other cultural centers. Many of them are visiting India and Tibetan institutions for the first time. The sole purpose of the visit is to facilitate the Parliamentary staff to obtain first-hand experience and knowledge about Tibetan people in India and their establishment. The experience will re-strengthen their commitment for Tibet.

The mission is organized by the Office of Tibet, Brussels, Belgium and hosted in Dharamshala by DIIR. Ms Rigzin Choedon Genkhang, EU Advocacy Officer of the Office is escorting the group

Mr. Francesco Giorgi assistant to MEP Panzeri from Socialist and Democratic Group

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