Vilnius: As part of his official engagements in Vilnius, Lithuania, Sikyong Penpa Tsering from the Central Tibetan Administration met with many Lithuanian Parliamentarians on 31 January 2024 at the Seimas and took part in a series of events, including a press conference and round table meeting.
Most of the day was spent at the Seimas, where the Sikyong Penpa Tsering, accompanied by Representative Sonam Farsi of the Office of Tibet-London, were welcomed by MP Andrius Navickas, Chair of the Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet, and first met with Deputy Speaker Honourable Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė. Thereafter, the democratically elected leader of the exile-Tibetan community participated in a public press meeting chaired by MP Andrius Navickas where Sikyong Penpa Tsering, along with Professor Dainius Žalimas, Vytis Vidunas, and Representative Sonam Frasi, made presentations.
This was followed by a round table discussion with Lithuanian parliamentarians, again chaired by MP Andrius Navickas. In attendance were several MPs from the Foreign Affairs and Economic Committees, including MP Žygimantas Pavilionis, who is the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee and MP Arūnas Valinskas, who was a guest of CTA at the Tibetan National Uprising Day commemoration in Dharamshala last year. This round table meeting at the Parliament was honoured with the visit of Prof Landsbergis, the first president of Post-Soviet Lithuania, who shared the wisdom of his political astuteness on furthering the Tibetan cause. In between, the Parliamentary Media interviewed Sikyong Penpa Tsering.
In the afternoon, Sikyong met with officials of Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, undertook media engagement, visited Tibet Square in Vilnius, and met with members of TSGs in Lithuania.
Sikyong Penpa Tsering thanked the Lithuanian Government and the public for their show of support for Tibet against the PRC Government at the recently concluded United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review of China and for extending a warm welcome on his maiden visit since becoming the political leader of the Tibetans.
Before leaving for London, Sikyong Penpa Tsering will meet with his old friend and long-term Tibet supporter, Dr Laima Andrikiene, a former Lithuanian parliamentarian who is now a Member of the European Court of Auditors.
Tibetans and Lithuanians are in a unique relationship, of not only solidarity for each other’s experience of suffering under a communist regime but lessons of resisting the communist regime of China. Lithuania is the one European country that is exemplary in standing up firmly and publicly against communist China’s bullying tendencies by recognising Taiwan, leading to the closure of the Chinese Embassy in Lithuania. So, Lithuanian solidarity is genuinely high for Tibetans who have been resisting Communist China for the most extended period.
-Report filed by Office of Tibet, London