EU Parliament Hears Appeal for Meaningful Autonomy

Representative Tashi Wangdi/File Photo
Representative Tashi Wangdi/File Photo

Dharamshala: The European Parliament has been urged by His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s representative in Brussels to assist the Tibetans in their efforts to achieve meaningful autonomy and improved rights in Tibet, the EU’s news bulletin The Parliament reported. (Click here for Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan people)

Speaking at a lively debate on the issue in parliament on Wednesday, Representative Mr. Tashi Wangdi said, “We want the EU to reach out to China on this issue.”

Mr. Wangdi, the EU representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, said that while he accepts there is no “magic wand” which can solve the Tibetan issue, he hopes the EU will lend its support to the cause of his compatriots.

He was addressing a packed conference called to mark the 60th anniversary on Thursday of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China.

Mr. Wangdi said, ” The fact is that China does continue to distort the facts over the Tibetan issue and this in turn leads to hatred and racial problems.”

“However, I am not here to criticise China and do not wish to go back through history but the fact is that China does continue to distort the facts over the Tibetan issue.

“Contrary to what Beijing says, Tibetans do not seek independence but, merely, meaningful regional autonomy and improved rights.

“A solution to this problem is possible and I do not believe that finding one is insurmountable.”

A keynote speaker at the event was Edward McMillan-Scott, a vice president of parliament and well-known critic of the Chinese regime, who said the country´s 60th celebrations come at a time when the country is still riddled with repression and human rights abuses.

“The message that I hope comes out of this event is that we here in parliament take this matter very seriously,” he said.

Other speakers included former ALDE leader Graham Watson and Thomas Mann, a German EPP member who chairs the assembly´s Tibetan friendship group.

He called for the parliament to appoint a special envoy to Tibet, saying he hoped this might lead to improved relations with China.

In his address to the plenary session of the EP in December 2008, His Holiness the Dalai Lama appealed to the European Union and the Parliament to persuade the Chinese leadership to resolve the issue of Tibet through earnest negotiations for the common good of the Tibetan and Chinese peoples.

Earlier in November, the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama presented to the Chinese leadership the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan people. The memorandum puts forth Tibetans’ aspiration for genuine autonomy and how the basic needs of the Tibetan nationality for autonomy and self-government can be met within China’s Constitution.