Canada-inspired TIBET initiative fostering worldwide parliamentary groundswell of support

Dalai Lama with Senator DiNoNews Release – The Office of the Hon. Sen. Consiglio Di Nino

Canada-inspired TIBET initiative fostering worldwide parliamentary groundswell of support

Ottawa, Canada (rushprnews) 03/05/2007 – Motions in both the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada calling on China to grant autonomous status to Tibet are fostering a groundswell of international parliamentary support ahead of the March 10 anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising of 1959.

The motions are part of an international initiative by the Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet (PFT) to encourage legislators from around the world to urge China to reach a final and lasting agreement with the Dalai Lama. In the coming days and weeks, parliamentarians from countries in Asia, Europe, and the Americas representing hundreds of millions of citizens will deliver a message to Beijing through motions, resolutions, hearings, statements and other measures expressing unequivocal support for a just settlement.
On February 15, the European Parliament, representing 27 countries, passed a comprehensive resolution on the Chinese-Tibetan dialogue. It calls on the European Commission, the Council of the EU, and individual member states to collaborate with other countries to further the dialogue. “In the absence of tangible results,” it urges consideration of the appointment of an “EU Special Representative for Tibet.”

On the same day, the following motion was adopted unanimously by the House of Commons:
That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: urge the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the representatives of Tibet’s government in exile, notwithstanding their differences on Tibet’s historical relationship with China, to continue their dialogue in a forward-looking manner that will lead to pragmatic solutions that respect the Chinese constitutional framework, the territorial integrity of China and fulfill the aspirations of the Tibetan people for a unified and genuinely autonomous Tibet.

Tom Lantos, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Relations, hailed the Canadian initiative and noted that the Committee’s first hearing on China would be devoted to the Tibetan issue. It will, he said, “signal to Beijing the seriousness of our resolve.”

According to Senator Di Nino, co-chair of the PFT, “it has been long overdue for China’s leadership to finally show some flexibility and to put aside any preconditions on talks, including their continued insistence that the Dalai Lama acknowledge that Tibet has always been part of China. A review of that proposition will serve only to revive an unflattering record of hardship and pain.”

In a statement last March 10th, the Dalai Lama said “I have stated time and again that I do not wish to seek Tibet’s separation from China.”  He added, however, that “a positive atmosphere cannot be created by one side alone.” The Dalai Lama has annually issued a public statement every March 10th.

Contact:  Richard Nishimura            Tel: 1-613-992-8991            E-mail: nishir@sen.parl.gc.ca

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