British MPs Underline their Country’s Role in Peaceful Settlement for Tibet

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UK's Liberal Democrat MP, Mr Norman Baker (C), Mr Tim Loughton, Conservative MP (2nd R) and Ms Julie Morgan, Labour MP, address press conference during their visit to Dharamshala, India, on 10 September 2008. Also seen in the picture (from left) are Phillipa Carrick, chief executive officer of Tibet Society and Mrs Dolma Gyari, deputy speaker of the Tibetan Parliament.(Photo: Sangjey Kep/www.tibet.net)

Dharamshala: A team of three visiting members of British Parliament to Dharamshala, while condemning the appalling abuse of human rights in Tibet under the Chinese policies in the last 50 years, said they will engage the European Union to go forward in trying to bring about a peaceful resolution for Tibet.

Three MPs representing three different political parties in the UK – Mr Norman Baker, Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes, Sussex, Mr Tim Loughton, Conservative MP for the new West Sussex constituency of East Worthing and Shoreham and Ms Julie Morgan, Labour MP for Cardiff North in south Wales – are in the delegation.

“There is a very strong sense of support in Britain among the public in large, in the parliament and the government for the Tibetans and are concerned with the present situation in Tibet,” Norman Baker said while addressing media persons on Wednesday.

Mr Baker termed the restriction of liberty, arbitrary torture and imprisonment of Tibetans since last 50 years, as an unacceptable behaviour from the Chinese administration, adding that it is a blemish on the world as the situation continues today.

He underlined that the denial of basic freedoms to Tibetans cannot be allowed to continue.

He said this year’s multifarious uprisings in Tibet have made it perfectly clear that the issue of Tibet is not a personal issue of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but is concerned with the welfare of six million Tibetans.

Expressing concern over the worsening situation in Tibet, he said the Parliamentarians in the United Kingdom are determined to bring about a fair and just settlement for Tibet.

“We are in a very strong position to help our hope because of our strong historical links between Britain and Tibet,” he added.

Baker said the Chinese government should accept some basic norms of behaviour in allowing Tibetans to freely practice their religion without intimidation, to express what they think without fear of imprisonment and to undertake activities, which democratic countries take for granted.

And those arrested Tibetan should be subjected to proper procedures and fair trial with an independent judiciary, he added.

He said they have gained good understanding of the aspirations of Tibetan people, after their meetings with various Tibetan NGOs, individual Tibetans and Tibetan Parliamentarians in the last few days.

On returning back to London, our role will be to engage our government and the governments in the European Union, to go forward in trying to bring about a peaceful resolution to Tibet, one that recognizes basic human rights, he added.

Tim Loughton described the continuing affront to civil liberties and freedom in Tibet as the “grossest infringements of the flame of freedom in our world today.”

He reiterated that there is a tremendous amount of support in United Kingdom and in the west for the Tibetan cause.

He said it is important that the Chinese people living in China must get the message about the abuse of Tibet and Tibetan people.

Emphasising the need for the supporters of Tibet to speak with one voice with regard to the policies of the Central Tibetan Administration on the negotiations with China, he said that the politicians in the free nations should use the opportunity to raise those “achievable and reasonable demands” with the Chinese government. He added that China, if it is genuine in their negotiations should be able to concede.

Ms Julie Morgan said the British government has a major role to play in the future of Tibet and Tibetan people by engaging the International community and the people of China in facilitating a meaningful dialogue on Tibet.

Apart from visiting Tibetan cultural and educational institutions, the delegation observed the opening session of the Tibetan Parliament on Monday.

The visit is part of an exchange program to share parliamentary experiences between the UK and Tibetan Parliaments, and to advocate the Tibetan people to express their opinions to the British Parliamentarians, initiated by the London-based Tibet Society.

The program began with two visits by Tibetan MPs to the UK in 2005 and 2007, followed by British Parliamentary delegation’s visit to Dharamshala in October 2007.

The visiting British MPs concluded their visit Wednesday and left Dharamshala this morning.

–Editing by Lobsang CHOEDAK