London: Sikyong Penpa Tsering, the democratically elected leader of the Tibetan people, arrived in London to begin an official visit to the United Kingdom that is scheduled to last until 1 May. He was greeted by Representative Sonam Tsering Frasi, Office of Tibet-London, Ven. Kelkhang Rinpoche, Tibetan Community Britain Chairperson Tenzin Kunga, other members and Tibetans in the UK as he landed at the Heathrow airport Sunday afternoon.
In the course of this initial leg of his Europe tour, which will also include a visit to Scotland, Sikyong Penpa Tsering will meet with senior government officials, members of parliament – active Tibet supporters, as well as others in relevant parliamentary committee groups including foreign affairs, human rights, freedom of religion among others.
Furthermore, Sikyong is scheduled to hold two important speaking engagements at the UK Parliament on 25 April, hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion and Belief respectively.
During this visit, Sikyong will also engage with civil society organisations – Think-tanks, human rights organisations, Buddhist organisations, media and hold talks with the Tibetan community in the UK.
Tomorrow, Sikyong will be addressing the Democracy Forum (TDF) on the topic: 72 years of Chinese Colonial Rule in Tibet. The forum will be chaired by Humphrey Hawksley, Author & Former BBC Asia correspondent, and joined by Chris Law MP, Co-chair of All Party Parliamentary Group on Tibet, Dr Martin Mills, Director, Scottish Centre for Himalayan Research, University of Aberdeen, Prof. Dibyesh Anand, head of School of Social Sciences and Professor of International relations, University of Westminster, with closing remarks by Barry Gardiner, MP, chair of The Democracy Forum.
This visit marks Sikyong Penpa Tsering’s second official visit to the UK. Sikyong’s first visit to the United Kingdom was in January 2023, when he was invited to address the Oxford Union Society on the Sino-Tibetan conflict.