Tibetan administration seeks Europe's support to preserve identity

by IANS |

Dharamsala, Nov 21 (IANS) The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has appealed for support from European countries in its endeavour to preserve the unique Tibetan identity.

At a meeting with visiting former European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pottering here on Monday, Tibetan parliament-in-exile Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel highlighted the current status of Tibet with no transparency in China's policies that he said is evident in their recently published white paper on Tibet.

The former European parliament president was accompanied by Adrain Haack, Director of Konrad Adenauer Foundation of New Delhi, and Office of Tibet Brussel representative Rigzin Choedon.

Welcoming the guests, the Speaker extended his gratitude to the former European Parliament President for inviting His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the European Parliament in 2008 during his presidency.

Informing him of the success of exiled Tibetans under the leadership of His Holiness in preserving and promoting Tibet's distinct language, culture, and religion, he appealed for support from European countries in the CTA's endeavour to preserve the unique Tibetan identity.

The Deputy Speaker mentioned that the former European Parliament president's visit sends a big signal to the world that Tibet is not alone in its non-violent struggle and highlighted the need for more coverage of non-violent approaches and struggles, including the Tibetan peaceful movement.

Speaking on the dire situation of Tibetans inside of Tibet, the Deputy Speaker spoke about the change of demography in Tibet with Tibetans becoming a minority in their own country and facing a threat to preserving its distinct identity.

Highlighting especially the coercing of Tibetan children into colonial boarding schools, the Deputy Speaker urged the former president to be vocal on these issues.

Further speaking on the unbridled extraction of natural minerals in Tibet by China and about the damage to the Tibetan plateau and its consequences, the Deputy Speaker stressed on initiating UN-led scientific research on the significance of the Tibetan plateau to the world.

Pottering, greeting the Speaker-led members of the Standing Committee, spoke about his great admiration for His Holiness and about the positive influence the Dalai Lama has on him.

He also talked about inviting His Holiness to the European Parliament in 2008 during his presidency and how he at that time had urged politicians to consider boycotting the Beijing Olympic Games to protest against China's crackdown on demonstrations in Tibet.

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