Dharamsala: Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) in close association with Latvian Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet and International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet (INPaT) commenced four days sessions of 7th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet (WPCT) in Riga, Latvia from 7-10 May 2019.
The convention was attended by about 100 participants including 25 Members of Parliament from Australia, New Zealand, France, Romania, Canada, Czech Republic, Lithuania, India, Nepal, Chile, Latvia, UK, and Scotland.
President of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Dr Lobsang Sangay, Speaker Pema Jungney and Deputy Speaker Ven Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile along with members Tibetan Parliamentarians, Representatives of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama from the offices of Tibet of North America, Belgium, Australia, UK, Geneva and France, Director of International Tibet Network, President and Asia Program Officer of NED, President of Freedom House, Executive Director of ICT Germany, Executive Director of ICT Europe, President of ICT Washington DC, Advocacy and Communications Director of ICT Europe, EU Policy Director of ICT Europe, President, Kreddha and Professor of International Law etc participated in the convention.
On 7 May 2019, Latvian Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet hosted a dinner reception followed by a welcome address delivered by Hon. Uldis Budrikis, Vice Chairman of Latvian Parliamentary support group for Tibet after which cultural performances were performed by Latvian Cultural Group at the Restaurant of Hotel Bellevue in Riga, Latvia.
The Inaugural Session was held on 8 May, with an introduction delivered by Honorable Uldis Budrikis, Vice Chairman of Latvian Parliamentary support group Tibet. Followed by address by Honorable Pema Jungney, Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. The event also featured a special video message from Hon. Jim Mcgovern, Member of the United States House of Representatives, and Statement from Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
Highlighting the inaugural event was featuring of a special video message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. following which, a keynote address was presented by Chief Guest Hon. Andris Buikis, and Convention coordinator Janis Martin Skuja who is also a Chief of Society “Latvian for Tibet” delivered a vote of thanks. The session’s Master of ceremony was Professor Toufic Kawar.
The briefing Session was chaired by Hon. Pradeep Tamta and Hon. Ripun Bora, MPs from India and CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay addressed the session.
The second day of the convention continued with a panel session chaired by Prof. Michael Van Walt Praag, President, Kreddha, and professor of International Relations and International Law; ‘Framing the issues of Tibet’
This was followed by a talk on ‘China-Tibet History’ by Dr. Munin Chen, Vice President for International Affair, National Chung Hsing University and Professor at Graduate Institute of International Policies, Taichung, Taiwan.
Mr. Tempa Gyaltsen, Head of Environment and Development Desk, Tibet Policy Institute, CTA gave a talk on ‘ The Tibetan Plateau and its current Environment Situation’.
Finally, Prof. Srikanth Kondapalli, Chairman and professor in Chinese Studies Centre for East Asian Studies, JNU gave a talk on ‘Asia and especially, India’s role on Tibet’s issue’ through Skype.
The briefing session of the second-day panel discussion was chaired by Hon. Michael Danby, member of Australian Parliament and Hon. Parliamentarians who took active participation by sharing their views and suggestions.
The previous six World Parliamentarians’ Conventions on Tibet were held in Delhi, India (1994), Vilnius, Lithuania (1995), Washington D.C. USA (1997), Edinburg, Scotland (2005), Rome, Italy (2009) and Ottawa, Canada (2012).
The convention in Riga is held to garner more support from Parliamentarians of different countries and to assess the possible ways to resolve the Tibet issue through dialogue with the representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese leaders.
-Filed by the Parliamentary Secretariat