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TIBET: Press Release of the EP Delegation

Dharamsala, 3 March 2006

 A Delegation of the Tibet Intergroup representing the major political parties of the European Parliament (European People's Party, European Socialist Party, Green Party, Democratic and Liberal Alliance) paid a visit to Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government in exile. They held frank discussion with HH the Dalai Lama, representatives of the Tibetan Parliament in exile, the Cabinet (Kashag), NGOs and spoke to refugees who have recently fled from Tibet.

On 2nd March the delegation met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, during which the Dalai Lama briefed the parliamentarians on the progress achieved in the fifth round of the talks between the Chinese and Tibetans. The President of Intergroup, Mr. Thomas Mann, of the EPP-ED reiterated that the Tibet Intergroup „was fully committed to a process of real negotiations at the highest political level as the only realistic way to resolve the Tibet-issue to the mutual benefit of both Parties“. The Intergroup believes that the demands of the Tibetans for genuine autonomy within the constitution of the PRC are legitimate and reasonable.

The Tibet Intergroup appreciated the assistance that the Tibetan community has been receiving from the Indian authorities and the Indian people at all levels. The Parliamentarians were impressed that the Tibetan administration functions through a democratically elected Parliament and the Head of Kashag Cabinet. Through their interactions with recently arrived refugees from Tibet, aged 4 and above, they learned about the lack of improvements in human rights for the people in Tibet, Ms. Gröner, vice-chair of the Tibet Intergroup of the Socialist Group, after meeting Tibetan organizations said that „the Parliament was committed to continue to assist the Tibetans to participate  more effectively in different international fora“. She recommended especially political improvement of women. Ms. Eva Lichtenberg, another vice-chair of the Inergroup stated, that „the Intergroup attached special importance to the education and participation of Tibetan Youth“.

The Tibet Intergroup welcomes the visit of His Holiness to Brussels this summer. The Intergroup is committed to do whatever it can to ensure that His Holiness will be received by relevant officials of European Union.

The Tibet Intergroup of the European Parliament was founded in 1989 and has been leading voice for EU parliamentarians supporting the Tibetan cause and for all the Tibetans in the European Union.