Members of the British House of Commons, belonging to the ruling Labour Party as well as the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democratic Party, have urged Prime Minister Tony Blair to meet with the Dalai Lama when he visits London in May-June this year.
In an Early Day Motion (EDM) filed on January 15, 2004, House of Commons Member Tom Brake (LD) with Harry Cohen (Labour), Peter Bottomley (Conservative) and Norman Baker (LD) as co-sponsors, called on Blair to “schedule an engagement with His Holiness [the Dalai Lama]” and to assist in “the furtherance of dialogue between the Chinese Government and the Tibetan Government-in-exile.”
The EDM commended “the Dalai Lama for his steadfast commitment to peaceful means in the struggle for Tibetan independence; notes his distinctive message of non-violence.”
Members of Parliament use Early Day Motions for publicizing their views on a particular subject. EDMs serve an important role in starting debate and seeking support for the issue.
Following is the full text of the EDM on Tibet. If you are a British citizen, you can write to your MP asking him/her to sign this Early Day Motion. Visit www.faxyourmp.com to find your MP and send a fax via e-mail.
January 15, 2004
Dalai Lama and the Prime Minister
That this House welcomes the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Britain from 27th May to 3rd June; notes that this will be his first visit to Britain in five years; further notes that, during his visit, His Holiness intends to promote resolution of the Tibet issue by encouraging dialogue between the Chinese Government and the Tibetan Government-in-exile; recalls how his efforts as a champion of world peace were recognised with the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989; commends His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his steadfast commitment to peaceful means in the struggle for Tibetan independence; notes his distinctive message of non-violence; regrets that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been unable to secure an audience with the Prime Minister; calls on the Prime Minister to schedule an engagement with His Holiness; and, in the event of this not being possible, calls on the Prime Minister to make a public statement of support for the furtherance of dialogue between the Chinese Government and the Tibetan Government-in-exile as being the best way to resolve this long standing issue and acknowledge the patience and peaceful means that the Dalai Lama has followed over many years.”