Parliamentarians from across Europe today called on China to drop all preconditions to negotiations with the Dalai Lama and reiterated their call for the immediate appointment of a EU Special Representative for Tibet to facilitate meaningful dialogue between Beijing and Dharamsala.
The calls were made by Members of the European Parliament and EU National Parliaments at the “European Parliament Forum on Tibet: EU Response to Sino-Tibetan Dialogue” held at the European Parliament in Brussels today.
“China is in a win-win situation: The Dalai Lama is not calling for independence and China’s reputation would be enhanced dramatically if it were to illustrate its clear commitment to undertaking negotiations with the internationally respected Tibetans,” said Mr. Thomas Mann, President of the EP Intergroup for Tibet.
The parliamentarians also requested that the Dalai Lama again be invited to address the European Parliament about the status of discussions with China. They recommended that, if no progress is made with constructive negotiations in the immediate future, EU Member States should reconsider the EP’s 6 July 2000 resolution which proposed to recognise the Tibetan Government in Exile as the legitimate representative of the Tibetan people.
While welcoming the calls made by the Parliamentarians, Ms. Tsering Jampa, Executive Director, International Campaign for Tibet said: “So far, the EU’s approach to Tibet has been without substance. The appointment of a EU Special Representative for Tibet would show that the EU is serious about Tibet. It would send China a clear signal that the EU is closely monitoring the Sino-Tibetan dialogue process and that it wants to see a time-line for negotiations.”
Leading Chinese human rights campaigner, Mr. Harry Wu, echoed the call at the Forum for the appointment of an EU Special Representative for Tibet, saying that it was time the EU actively committed to Tibet with such an appointment, just as the United States has.
“Not enough priority was given to Tibet in the recent EU/China Summit. The European Parliament believes it is a mistake to have such a hesitant position towards Tibet,” said Mr. Elmar Brok, Chairman of the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy.
Also speaking at the Forum, Mr Pema Jungney, Chairman of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile) said: “The best way to tackle global terrorism is support non-violent struggles. Successful non-violent struggles will become the model for effective conflict resolution.”
Other speakers at today’s Forum included: Mr. Dalip Mehta, former Ambassador and Secretary of the Indian Foreign Ministry; Mrs. Jetsun Pema, President of the Tibetan Children’s Village; Kelsang Gyaltsen, Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the European Union; and Mr. Hans-Gert Poettering, Chairman of the EPP-Group in the European Parliament.
The Forum was organized by the European Parliament’s Intergroup for Tibet, in association with Bureau du Tibet, Brussels, and the International Campaign for Tibet Europe.
The full text of the resolution adopted at the Forum follows below.
For more information, contact:
Mr Thomas Mann, President, EP Intergroup for Tibet
Tel: +32-2-284 5318
Ms Tsering Jampa, Executive Director, International Camapign for Tibet Europe
Tel: +31 (0) 20-330 8265
Resolution adopted by the “European Parliament Forum on Tibet: EU Response to Sino-Tibetan Dialogue”
European Parliament, Brussels
12 November 2003
The participants of the “European Parliament Forum on Tibet,” which includes Members of the European Parliament from all Member States of the European Union, Members of National Parliaments and of Candidate States gathered in Brussels on 12 November 2003 to consider the situation in Tibet1 and the European Union’s response to Sino-Tibetan dialogue, are unanimously resolved in:
- Deploring the continuing violation of the individual and collective rights of the Tibetan people, including the right of self-determination as affirmed in UN Resolution 1723 (XVI), and the ongoing repression of the Tibetan peoples’ political and religious beliefs by the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC);
- Noting the longstanding commitment of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile to non-violence and their consistent efforts to ensure a peaceful, negotiated solution for Tibet through dialogue with the government of the People’s Republic of China;
- Welcoming the renewed contact between envoys of the Dalai Lama and Chinese officials in September 2002 and in May-June 2003;
- Recalling the European Parliament resolution of 19 December 2002 which urges the Chinese Government to immediately commute the death sentence handed down to Tibetan Buddhist leader, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche;
- Welcoming that in the 13 October 2003 European Union policy paper, the European Council highlighted encouraging dialogue between the Dalai Lama and the government of the People’s Republic of China to find a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of Tibet as a European Union priority for political dialogue with the government of the People’s Republic of China;
- Regretting that, despite these policy commitments, the EU-China Summit of 30 October 2003 failed to address the issue of Tibet and that the European Union human rights dialogue with the PRC has not had any positive effect on the situation in Tibet;
- Recognising the constructive impact of the work of European Union Special Representatives in promoting the resolution of conflicts in various regions of the world;
- Recalling the European Parliament resolutions of 15 January 1998 and 11 April 2002, the requests by the Dalai Lama in his 24 October 2001 address to the European Parliament and his letters of 11 March 2002 to the Foreign Ministers of all European Union Member States, and the request by the international coalition of Tibet Support Groups in their recent communique to the heads of the European Council, Commission and Parliament, for the appointment of a European Union Special Representative for Tibet;
- Commending the allocation in the 2003 and 2004 European Union budgets for the appointment of a European Union Special Representative for Tibet;
- Recalling the European Parliament resolution of 6 July 2000, specifically its call for governments of the Member States to give serious consideration to the possibility of recognising the Tibetan Government in Exile as the legitimate representative of the Tibetan people;
- Calls for the European Council and Commission to implement the existing European Union budget allocation to immediately appoint a high-level European Union Special Representative for Tibet, whose mandate is to promote substantive dialogue between the government of the People’s Republic of China and the Dalai Lama or his representatives and whose term is directly linked to notable progress in this;
- Calls for the release of all political prisoners, including Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, who is under a death sentence and could be executed by China as soon as April 2004;
- Calls on the European Union to prominently raise the issue of Tibet during the EU-China human rights dialogue session in Beijing on 26 November 2003 and during future EU/China Summits;
- Calls for the European Union and all European governments to use every opportunity to strongly impress upon the government of the PRC to build on the re-establishment of contact with the representatives of the Dalai Lama and to immediately embark upon earnest and sincere negotiations with the object of finding a just and lasting political solution;
- Recommends that, in light of the renewed contact between Dharamsala and Beijing, the European Parliament reviews any progress made, invites the Dalai Lama to address the Parliament about the deteriorating situation in Tibet and the status of discussions with the PRC, and reconsiders whether to implement the 6 July 2000 resolution which proposed to recognise the Tibetan Government in Exile as the legitimate representative of the Tibetan people;
- Recommends that the European Parliament hold an expert European Parliament Hearing on Tibet to examine the serious issues of population transfer, economic marginalisation, and development and environmental degradation, which the Tibetan people are facing today;
- Urge China to drop all preconditions to negotiations and to issue a clear commitment to continue the present contact with representatives of the Dalai Lama with the aim of leading to substantive dialogue;
- Instructs the Chair of this Forum to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the UN Secretary-General, the Government of China, the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile, as well as the governments of the Member States of the Council of Europe.
1 Reference to Tibet in this documents means the three provinces of U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo.