Brussels, Belgium: Tibetans are forbidden to practice their religion – Buddhism. Tibetan nomads are denied their animals and grassland. In fact, Tibet is denied to Tibetans. What could they do, but make the sacrifice of their lives, by self-immolation?, remarked MsYeshey Paden from Sweden making a summation of other presentations before her – short, raw but full of pathos.
Six Tibetans from various countries in Europe took part in the Tibet Lobby Day yesterday with members of the Tibet Interest Group (TIG) in the European Parliament. While the morning session moderated by ICT staff Ms Melanie Blondelle was dedicated to training and lobbying exercises. The afternoon, moderated by Mr Vimcent Metten EU Policy Director, ICT, was devoted to interactions with 4 members of TIG.
MEP Mikulas Peksa (Greens/EFA), from the Czech Republic and President of TIG, MEP Hannes Heide (Austria -S&D), MEP Ausra Maldeikiene (Lithuania – EPP, at the last minute as she could not be present her Assistant Giedrius Alasevici replaced her ) and Mr Alex Sarri i Camargo (Assistant to Catalonian MEPs) heard the Tibetan presentations.
Mr Kelsang Gonnot from France made his case on the Freedom of religion and belief and the succession of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It was followed by Access to Tibet, reciprocity and recognition of CTA by Ms Kunsel Rinchen Dolma from the Netherlands. Mr Lobsang Wangpo from Belgium spoke on the importance of Education and the Tibetan language. Ms Tenzin Dhazay, Ireland, made her case on the Environment and importance of the Tibetan plateau. Mr Tenzin Khentse, an EU Erasmus programme beneficiary from Poland spoke about his first-hand experience of Chinese influence in the EU.
MEP Peksa made a detailed review of every presentation. He was sympathetic to the contents of the subjects and their appeals to the MEPs. He said that all issues were relevant and topical which would receive full attention from the TIG and the European Parliament. The interference by China in the EU is open and verifiable, he said. He appealed to Tibetans not to self immolate.
MEP Heide and MEP Assistants Alex and Alasevivi also echoed Mr Peksa’s remarks. MEP Heide voiced the aggressiveness of Chinese influence in the EU. Assistant Alex confessed that hearing Tibetans were very powerful though one read about the issues. Mr. Alasevici recounted the immense challenge confronted in every country to advance the Tibetan cause because of Chinese pressure as was seen during the Lithuanian withdrawal from 17+1 of the China leaning group in Europe. However, they reassured them of their full support for Tibet.
Representative Tashi Phuntsok made a detailed review of the foreign policy of the CTA and the roles of the Offices of Tibet in the morning. In his summation in the afternoon, he expressed his immense satisfaction at the presentations by the six Tibetans. He wished them to shoulder greater responsibilities in their region and lobby in their respective governments and parliaments.
He thanked ICT, Europe and the TIG in the European Parliaments for organising the day-long Tibet Lobby Day.