Brussels: Tibetan delegation at the EU advocacy received a warm meeting with Mr Jan Figel, Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU, for over three hours with thought provoking and heart touching conversation, followed by a luncheon together at the European Commission.
EU Special Envoy for Religious Freedom and Belief, Mr Figel made a sympathetic hearing and practical commitments to the issues concerning Tibet. Stating that the meeting was not “incidental” but intentional and important, he welcomed the Tibetan presentation with much empathy and understanding. Quoting Confucius: “when words lose their meaning, people lose their freedom” and Schuman Father of EU, he saw much commonality between EU’s vision and His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s commitment to truth, justice and freedom. He stressed the need to stand up by the EU on these principles and how the support for Tibet and its religious freedom would be of equal importance for the credibility of EU.
Yesterday’s film screening of Pawo at the European Parliament received a very strong and warm participation by Members of the Parliament. It was sponsored jointly by MEP Molly Scott-Cato of the Greens, MEPs Thomas Mann and Laszlo Tokes of the European Peoples Party, MEP Lydia Geringer de Oedenberg of the Socialists and Democrats and MEP Nathalie Griesbeck of the Liberals. The co-hosts MEP Scott-Cato and MEP Tokes in their opening remark said, “they were very pleased to sponsor the film screening along with their colleagues. Such events in the European Parliament will contribute to the visibility of the Tibetan issue”.
Representative Tashi Phuntsok observed that the film screening would help the western viewers facilitate better understanding of Tibetan perspective on the wave of self-immolations. Special arrangements were made to serve Tibetan refreshments during the film screening.
Meeting with Mr Jan Peumans, Speaker of the Flemish Parliament, Mr Forthomme, Advisor for International Affairs and Ms. Laetetia Werquin, Assistant to MP Georges Dallemagne were constructive and fruitful. The issues of Larung Gar and restrictions on Tibetan travellers to Kalachakra were specially mentioned for consideration of the Parliamentarians.
Mr Peumans promised that he would raise the issues with the Chinese government by writing to the Ambassador of China in Brussels. Extensive discussions were held with European External Action Service (China, Human rights Division and Advisor to the EU Special Representative for Human Rights) on all facets of Tibet-China and EU-China matters. The meeting also called for the continuous exchange of thoughts and documents.
Later in the afternoon, the Tibetan delegation attended the Tibet Interest Group in the European Parliament. The meeting was chaired by MEP Molly Scott-Cato, Vice-President of the Group and attended by other MEPs and Parliamentary Assistants.
The delegation comprised of Representative Tashi Phuntsok, Nyima Lhamo, niece of late Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, Tenzin Sonam, Human Rights Officer, DIIR, Melanie Blondelle from ICT, Rigzin Choedon Genkhang from OOT, Brussels. The Advocacy will shift to Paris tomorrow with a breakfast meeting at the French Senate.
-Report filed by Bureau du Tibet-