New Delhi: On 30 September 2023, a delegation of seven parliamentarians from Austria and Germany met Sikyong Penpa Tsering of Central Tibet Administration (CTA) in Delhi, facilitated by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), Regional Office South Asia in partnership with the CTA. As a liberal foundation, FNF advocates for economic freedom, human rights, good governance, and free markets, and has maintained an enduring partnership with the CTA since 1991.
The primary objective of the meeting was to explore the democratic processes of the CTA and to understand the evolution of the Tibetan government in Exile. The meeting was part of the parliamentarians’ educational tour of South Asia from 29 September to 8 October. During this tour, the parliamentarians will visit India and Bhutan aiming to gain insights into the democratic mechanisms prevalent in the South Asian region.
During the meeting with the Sikyong, the European parliamentarians expressed their keen interest in understanding the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), delving into its functions, governance procedures, and the election process for CTA parliamentarians. In response, Sikyong Penpa Tsering provided a comprehensive overview of the CTA’s mission and operations. He shed light on the day-to-day challenges encountered by Tibetans living in exile, emphasising the importance of democratic structures within the CTA. Furthermore, Sikyong Tsering highlighted the central role played by Sikyong’s office in advocating for the Tibetan cause, both domestically and on the international stage. He expressed gratitude to the European delegation for the significant support extended to the CTA and to the Tibetan diaspora, underscoring the vital role Europe plays in advancing the cause of Tibetans.
Participating Member of the European Delegation consists of Yannick Shetty, Member of Parliament, Austria; Dolores Bakos, Member of Legislative Assembly, Vienna, Austria; Dirk Bergner, Deputy Speaker of the State Parliament, Thuringia, Germany; Regina Bergner, Head of Department, Jena Municipal Corporation, Germany; Torsten Herbst, Parliamentary Leader of the FDP Bundestag Group, Germany; Sandra Weeser Member of Parliament, Germany; Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus, Member of Parliament, Germany; and Olaf in der Beek, Member of Parliament, Germany.
Sikyong Penpa Tsering shared a tweet about his meeting with the EU Parliamentarians.
Had a productive discussion with EU parliamentary delegation facilitated by FNF. Stressed Europe's crucial role against China's authoritarianism & Tibet as vital force for positive change in China. Eager to continue our dialogue as partners in promoting democracy & rule of law. pic.twitter.com/CldtbuCe43
— Sikyong Penpa Tsering (@SikyongPTsering) September 30, 2023
Next on the delegation’s itinerary is a visit to Dharamshala on 5 October and 6 October, where they will have the opportunity to explore the Central Tibetan Administration and gain insight into its various activities. Following their time in India, the delegation will proceed to Bhutan and continue their journey by engaging with various leaders and democratic institutions in Bhutan.
–Filed by Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF)