London: A virtual meeting of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet in the UK Parliament hosted and chaired by honourable RT. Tim Loughton, MP and Co-chair of APPGT UK on 22 February.
Various UK Parliamentarians like Chris Law, MP and Co-chair of APPGT, Navendu Mishra, MP, Lord Alton of Liverpool, Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Wera Hobhouse MP, representatives from the Tibet support groups, and chairperson of the Tibetan Community in Britain joined the virtual meeting.
The meeting saw the re-election of officers of APPGT UK. MP Chris Law MP and Chair Tim Loughton were elected as Co-Chair and MP Navendu Mishra MP was elected as the Vice-Chair of APPGT.
The chair then invited John Jones from Free Tibet to give an overview of the current situation in Tibet. Mr. Jones reported about the current situation of Tibetan political prisoners in Tibet and particularity highlighting in detail the recent death of Kunchock Jinpa, a tour guide in Tibet, who died in a Chinese prison after spending 7 years imprisonment and tortured. MPs raised questions about the current situation of Tashi Wangchuck, Tibetan language rights advocator in Tibet, and how they get access to information inside Tibet.
The chair RT. Tim Loughton updated on Tibet (Reciprocal Access Bill) and informed about producing the bill again in the House of Common in May and the possibility of introducing a broader bill to invite more support and pass government legislation. Members raised questions and discussed the bill.
Representative, Mr. Sonam Tsering Frasi reported that the upcoming 10th March Tibetan national uprising day will be commemorated online given the ensuing pandemic. He said that Tibetan Community in Britain with Free Tibet and other Tibet support groups are organising recorded and online virtual programme this year and urged the MP’s to include their statements and recorded video messages in the programs.
Mr. Frasi then updated news on Tibet and activities of the Office of Tibet. He spoke on the recent passage of the Tibet bill and added that Tibetans all over the world are grateful for that. He informed about him attending a virtual meeting organised by APPGT, Lithuania on 5th March 2021.
He also informed the meeting about Office of Tibet along with Tibet support groups are preparing for COP26 conferences and invite Mandie from ITSN to elaborate on this. All MPs presented in the meeting were very supportive of this considering the importance of Tibet’s environment conservation. MP Chris Law suggested ways to access space during the COP26 and advised to contact him later.
Mr. Frasi also talked briefly about the ongoing general election of Tibetans and about the ending of Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay’s tenure in May. Hon. RT. Tim Loughton and hon. Chris Law expressed due respect and appreciation Sikyong for his hard work and for their friendship. They expressed their wishes to meet Sikyong before the end of his tenure to convey best wishes for the future.
Finally, Mr. John Jones reported the meeting about the Tibet support group’s campaign: Diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 Olympic and support they are receiving from MPs and government officials and meanwhile he requested support from the members.
MP Wera Hobhouse conveyed her support and suggested a lobby link with IPAC would be beneficial.
-Filed by OOT, London