His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s birthday marked in Brussels

Dharamshala: The Concert Noble hosted the celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 75th birthday on 13 July 2010 with Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) joining guests representing European Union institutions, civil society, and campaigners for Tibet. Many of those present travelled form across Belgium to mark the day and to publicly demonstrate their support for the Tibetan Government-in-Exile’s Middle Way policy, UNPO reported.

Opening remarks by Mr Tashi Wangdi, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Representative for Western Europe, Magreb and EU, Magreb and EU, reminded those present that within Tibet there could be no public celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s birthday within Tibet but that Tibetans had marked the day in their own private way and that the Tibetan culture, identity, and support for His Holiness and the Middle Way Approach remained undented.

Mr Wangdi drew the audience’s attention to the constricted media space in China and the effect this had on the perceptions of ordinary Chinese towards Tibet and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Referring to visit of Chinese scholars to the United States, Mr Wangdi noted that most Chinese could be receptive to the dialogue over the Tibet question but Beijing’s obstinacy remained the key stumbling block.

Mr Thomas Mann MEP, chair of the European Parliament’s Tibet Intergroup echoed Mr Wangdi’s sentiments, and reiterated the commitment of the Intergroup to supporting the campaign for the rights of Tibetans and refuting Beijing labelling of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a ‘splittist’ – despite consistent statements from the CTA to the contrary.

The evening closed with a celebration of Tibetan culture, centred on displays of traditional dance and music performed by members of the Tibetan diaspora in Belgium.

Celebrations marking His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s birthday will also be marked by an exhibition in the European Parliament sponsored by Mr Thomas Man MEP and Ms Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg MEP in conjunction with the Bureau du Tibet. The exhibition, entitled “Journey for Peace”, will run from 12-16 July 2010.