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Parliamentary Delegation Raise Concerns Over Continued Oppression in Tibet at Joint Press Meet

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Delegations during the press conference at Sikyong Auditorium on 10th March 2023.

Dharamshala: To demonstrate their genuine solidarity and support towards resolving the Tibet-China conflict and to express their concerns over China’s enforcement of repressive policies inside Tibet, the distinguished guests of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) spoke at the joint press conference organised by the Department of Information and International Relations, CTA, today in the afternoon of the 64th Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day.

The visiting guests comprise a four-member European Parliamentary delegation led by honourable Mikulas Peksa; a nine-member Parliamentary delegation of Mexico led by honourable Salvador Caro Cabrera (members of Tibet Support Groups); and honourable Arunas Valinskas, a member of the Lithuanian Parliament.

Addressing the press meeting held at Sikyong’s Auditorium, Member of the European Parliament honourable Mikulas Peksa briefed the collective experiences of his and his co-parliamentarians’ visits to the CTA and other Tibetan institutions in Dharamshala, expressing that they witnessed very good cooperation within the Central Tibetan Administration and the excellent care provided to Tibetans in exile and other countries. He added, “we have also witnessed very good signs of cooperation between the Central Tibetan Administration and its host country India.”

Honourable Salvador Caro Cabrera, who led the nine-member Parliamentary delegation of Mexico, shared their contentment about meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama this morning. He contended that His Holiness is just and legitimate (solution to) the cause of Tibet. Highlighting their visit to Dharamshala as a gesture of support for the Tibet cause, he stressed their denouncement of the one china policy that intends to endanger Tibetan identity. He encouraged non-violence as the guaranteed measure to resolve differences and conflict. To terminate China’s continued execution of atrocities inside Tibet, he acknowledged the existence of a “big team” in Mexico to work on the issue while ensuring their dedicated commitments to resolving the Sino-Tibet conflict.

Representing the third group of the delegation, honourable Arunas Valinskas, a member of the Lithuanian Parliament, lauded that “it’s truly fascinating to see what the Tibetan people in exile have done with organising themselves and maintaining their democracy” despite multiple challenges. He assured the existence of numerous groups in Lithuania contributing and supporting the cause of Tibet, including parliamentary and non-parliamentary groups, NGOs, and many intellectuals. Considering the connection between the Lithuanians and Tibetans as “interesting” yet “strange” given the distance and distinction between the two, he said, “if you think about (the relations) in a deeper way, it stops being strange because our nations have gone through similar trials and tribulations”. He continued, “being the victims of oppression is what makes us similar”.

Following the address from the team leaders of each delegation, the speakers answered questions from reporters representing both Tibetan and Indian media houses that were assembled at the joint press meeting.

When asked about their views on the intervention of the Communist Party of China in recognising His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s reincarnation, the three unanimously condemned China’s interference. Arunas Valinskas underscored the issue of His Holiness’ reincarnation “as a matter of wider principles of religious liberty and freedom of conscience whether it’s reincarnation or just the matter of Tibetans to practice their religion”. At the same time, Salvador Caro Cabrera stressed the requisite of global attention on this matter, while Mikulas Peksa regarded His Holiness and CTA as the legitimate authority in recognising the reincarnation of the current Dalai Lama.

The visitors further answered various questions raised by the media persons concerning the possibility of appointing a special coordinator for Tibet in the European Union, the trajectory of China’s domestic politics and its repercussions to Tibet and the wider world, and the authenticity of the dialogue if happened between Tibet and China. The three representatives of visiting delegation also shared their respective experiences of meeting with His Holiness and the messages they want to convey to China by attending today’s official event of the sixty-fourth anniversary of the Tibetan People’s Uprising Day.

Secretary Karma Choeying of the Department of Information and International Relations introducing the visiting guests at the press meeting.

Honourable Mikulas Peksa, a European Parliament member, speaking to the media.

Honourable Salvador Caro Cabrera, a Mexican politician and a member of Tibet Support Groups, addressing the press conference.

Honourable Arunas Valinskas, a Lithuanian Parliament member, speaking to the media.

An Indian reporter asking a question during the press conference.

Additional Secretary cum spokesperson of CTA, Tenzin Lekshay, delivering a vote of thanks.

Honourable Mikulas Peksa, Honourable Salvador Caro Cabrera and Honourable Arunas Valinskas having a brief interaction after the press meeting.