It is an honour and a privilege to address the concluding session of the 5th International Conference of Tibet Support Groups. On behalf of the Tibetan people in and outside Tibet and the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, I would like to extend my appreciation and greetings to our friends who have gathered here for your unceasing support for the just cause of Tibet.

The Tibetan Parliament in Exile regret very much that His Holiness the Dalai Lama could not visit Brussels this time, despite the invitation to address this conference, because of the pressure that the Chinese government had exerted on the Belgian government. We condemn the Chinese government?s high-handedness in interfering with the internal affairs of a sovereign nation and also regret that the Belgian Government bowed to Chinese pressure, thus, sacrificing the fundamental principles of a democracy that they so cherish and disregarding the wishes of the Belgian public?s regard for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his message of peace and non-violence.

For the last three days we have had various presentations and working groups, which have resulted in this common, effective action plan to further the just cause of Tibet. All our efforts have concentrated on how to bring the issue to the attention of the Chinese and international audience in a positive way. Under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama we have been trying to resolve our just cause based on truth, justice, non-violence and for the mutual benefit of both the Tibetan and Chinese peoples in particular and the world at large. You all were extensively briefed by Kalon Tripa Professor Samdhong Rinpoche and Special Envoy Lodi Gyari Rinpoche on the policies of our administration and the status of the Sino-Tibetan dialogue.

As you are aware, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile is the democratic institution that was established at the initiative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama soon after he was compelled to seek refuge in India in 1959, following the tragedy that befell Tibet. The Tibetan Parliament in exile is the representative body of all Tibetans where their legitimate concerns are discussed and policies formulated. It also oversees the accountability of the executive branch of Tibetan Administration to the Tibetan people. We are confident that this democratic institution will give continuity and stability to the Tibetan diaspora, which has the duty to carry forward the cause of Tibet until a permanent political solution is reached on the future of Tibet.

The Tibet support groups have played a vital role in bringing the Tibet issue in the international forum. We would therefore like to again thank you for this and seek your continued support. Here in exile we Tibetans enjoy a fully functioning democracy and therefore even Tibetans and our supporters are able to act and voice their differing opinions on the Middle-Way Approach of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which has been endorsed by the Tibetan Parliament in Exile.

The serious deliberations of the past three days have resulted in a compact and achievable plan of actions to support our efforts in finding an amicable and beneficial solution to the Tibetan issue, which aims for the preservation of our religion, culture and identity through a self-governing, democratic entity for Tibet within the constitution of the Peoples? Republic of China. We urge you all to give greater impetus to the TSG movement in carrying out at all levels the action plans adopted at this conference. A concerted action with cooperation from all organisations, TSGs, ITSN and Tibetan Communities will greatly enhance the just cause of Tibet and we hope it will also encourage the Chinese government to give a positive response to continue the Sino-Tibetan dialogue process, leading to a resolution of the Tibet problem. Therefore, I request all participants here and all concerned organisations to be pro-active in making a positive contribution toward putting into practice the declaration of this conference aimed to benefit the Tibetan people.

I would like to thank all of you, and particularly the organisers, who have spent months painstakingly and meticulously planned the conference programmes. The Friedrich-Naumann Stiftung has been associated in organising the four previous international conferences of the Tibet Support Groups. We have had this partnership programme with the Friedrich-Naumann Stiftung since 1991 and we are most indebted to the Stiftung for all their support and generosity. I would like to thank the Belgian Inter Parliamentary Group for Tibet in co-organising this conference.

I would also like to express the deep appreciation of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile to Madame Anne Marie Lizin, Former President of the Belgian Senate and Mayor of Huy for inaugurating this conference and to the Belgian government and people for allowing this conference to take place in Brussels. Their support for this conference is a source of great encouragement to the Tibetan people in and outside Tibet. Last but not the least I would like to thank the staff of the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) and the Friedrich-Naumann Stiftung and all those who have either directly or indirectly helped in ensuring the success of the 5th International Conference of the Tibet Support Groups.

Thank You