The Dalai Lama sent a message today to mark the 100th meeting of the Tibet Intergroup at European Parliament today.
The statement was read by President of the Intergroup MEP Thomas Mann at a meeting in Brussels on February 19 co-hosted by the International Campaign for Tibet. It is reproduced below in full.
At the meeting, Matteo Mecacci, ICT President, launched a pledge campaign, ‘2014 for Tibet’ to harness MEPs’ support and seek concrete actions for Tibet.
Special Representative Kelsang Gyaltsen spoke at the event; the transcript of his speech is at: http://www.tibet-europe.com/web/?p=682
A number of MEPs spoke of their strong connection to the Tibetan cause and importance of the Tibet Intergroup of the European Parliament, which was founded in 1989.
Spanish law professor Mr Jose Elias Esteve and Mr Alan Cantos, Director of the Spanish Tibet Committee, spoke about the ground-breaking Tibet law suits in Spain and their significance to Europe as Chinese influence on the Spanish government becomes more evident as a result. (ICT report, Spanish Parliament ruling following arrest warrants for Chinese leaders ‘should be of concern to all European citizens’)
A full account of the meeting will be online tomorrow at www.savetibet.org.
I would like to send my warm greetings to the members of the European Parliament’s Tibet Intergroup on the occasion of its 100th session on 19th February 2014.
I have always believed in the need for better understanding, closer co-operation, and greater respect, whether it concerns relations between individuals, communities or nations. I look to the European Parliament as an inspiring example of such fellowship. I am, therefore, grateful that members of the European Parliament, specifically the Tibet Intergroup, continue to show interest in the welfare of the Tibetan people.
Although I no longer hold any political responsibility, as a Tibetan I cannot help but be concerned about my compatriots’ well-being. The Tibetan issue is not only about the political rights of the Tibetan people, but also about matters that impact humanity at large. Firstly, because the Tibetan plateau has been shown to affect climate change and because the major rivers that rise in Tibet supply more than one billion people across Asia with water, the Tibetan environment is of crucial importance to the region. Secondly, because Tibetan Buddhist culture focuses on peace, non-violence and compassion, it is of value to the world and worth preserving.
The situation in Tibet at present is grim. Tibetan culture remains under threat. Meanwhile, the Chinese authorities are relentless in their suppression of any sign of protest or dissent. And yet, it seems the greater the suppression, the stronger is the Tibetan spirit of resistance. The only lasting solution will be when the Chinese Government addresses the Tibetan people’s aspirations so they can be resolved through equitable negotiations. On our part, the elected Tibetan leadership has reiterated its commitment to the Middle Way Approach of not seeking separation, but genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people.
In recent times, the Chinese Communist Party has begun to focus on the needs of the rural population and the poor. Part of this involves the need to raise the functioning of the judicial system to international standards. People who know President Xi Jinping tell me that he works in a more open and realistic way. In fact, he seems to be taking some courageous steps to reduce corruption. I hope he will be able to bring about political reform in much the same way that Deng Xiaoping brought about the market reforms that have made China so economically powerful.
If China changes in a positive direction, we can hope for more transparency from the leadership. This in turn will lead to trust and respect. Such a development will enable China to earn the respect of the international community, while also resolving issues like the Tibetan question for the benefit of everyone involved. I hope bodies like the European Parliament can find ways to encourage China in this direction.
Once again I would like to express my gratitude to the Tibet Intergroup and trust that your deliberations during your 100th session will be fruitful.
February 13, 2014