European Parliament reacts to Nepal’s suppression of Tibetan exile government elections in its long-staying Tibetan refugee community with a Resolution calling for rights of Tibetans to be respected. The European Parliament Resolution (below) has the support of all major political groups in the House.
“Freedom of speech and the right to vote are universal human rights. Nepal must not give in to pressure from Beijing and must allow the 20,000 Tibetans in the country to exercise their right to vote for their government in exile”, said the Chairman of the European Parliament’s cross-party Intergroup on Tibet, German MEP Thomas Mann.
The Resolution calls on the Nepalese authorities to “refrain from preventive arrests and restrictions on demonstrations and freedom of speech” of the country’s Tibetan community and urges the government of Nepal to include these basic rights as well as the freedom of religion in the country’s new constitution, due to be enacted by 28 May 2011.
“The EU has to closely monitor the situation in Nepal and make sure the government respects the fundamental rights of the Tibetan community. The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, has to confront the governments of Nepal and China with this question”, Thomas Mann said.
Ban on the elections for the Tibetan government in exile in Nepal
European Parliament resolution of 7 April 2011 on the ban of the elections for the Tibetan government in exile in Nepal
The European Parliament,
– having regard to its resolution of 17 June 2010 on Nepal and its resolution of 26 October 2006 on Tibet,
– having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,
– having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966,
– having regard to the statement of 29 May 2010 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the political situation in Nepal,
– having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas the occupation of Tibet by the People’s Republic of China prevents the Tibetans from electing their representatives in the territory of Tibet democratically,
B. whereas more than 82 000 exiled Tibetans across the world were invited to vote on 20 March 2011 to elect the new Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of the Tibetan government in exile,
C. whereas several thousand Tibetans in Nepal did not get permission to vote from the Nepalese authorities in Kathmandu, under increasing pressure from the Chinese Government,
D. whereas already during an earlier round of voting in Nepal on 3 October 2010, Kathmandu police confiscated ballot boxes and shut down the Tibetan community voting sites,
E. whereas on 10 March 2011 the Dalai Lama announced that he would formally relinquish his political leadership role in the Tibetan exile government which is based in Dharamsala, India, in order to strengthen the democratic structure of the Tibetan movement on the eve of elections to choose a new generation of Tibetan political leaders,
F. whereas the Government of Nepal has claimed that demonstrations by Tibetans violate its ‘One China’ policy, has reiterated its commitment not to allow ‘anti-Beijing activities’ on its soil and has thus imposed a blanket ban on the movement of groups of Tibetans in an attempt to appease the Chinese authorities,
G. whereas the Nepali authorities, particularly the police, have repeatedly been reported as violating basic human rights such as freedom of expression, assembly and association of Tibetans in exile in Nepal; whereas these rights are guaranteed for all persons in Nepal by international human rights conventions to which Nepal is party, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
H. whereas the overall situation of many refugees in Nepal, in particular the Tibetans, gives cause for concern,
I. whereas the EU reaffirmed its commitment to support democratic and participatory governance in the EU’s external relations by the adoption of its Council conclusions on Democracy Support in the EU’s External Relations on 17 November 2009,
1. Underlines the right to participate in democratic elections as a fundamental right of all citizens that must be upheld, protected and guaranteed in every democratic state;
2. Calls on the Government of Nepal to uphold the democratic rights of the Tibetan people, who are conducting a unique internal election process which has existed since 1960, to organise and to participate in democratic elections;
3. Emphasises the importance of peaceful democratic elections to the strengthening and preservation of the Tibetan identity both inside and outside the territory of Tibet;
4. Urges the Nepali authorities to respect the rights of Tibetans in Nepal to freedom of expression, assembly and association as guaranteed for all persons in Nepal by international human rights conventions to which Nepal is a party;
5. Calls on the authorities to refrain from preventive arrests and restrictions on demonstrations and freedom of speech that deny the right to legitimate peaceful expression and assembly during all activities undertaken by the Tibetan community in the country and urges the Government of Nepal to include such rights and to ensure religious freedom within Nepal’s new constitution, due to be enacted by 28 May 2011;
6. Calls on the Nepalese authorities to abide by their international human rights obligations and their own domestic laws in their treatment of the Tibetan community and urges the government to resist the strong pressure exerted by the Chinese Government to silence the Tibetan community in Nepal using restrictions which are not only unjustified but also illegal under domestic and international law;
7. Considers that the continuation of the full implementation of the ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ on the Tibetan refugees by the Nepali authorities is essential for maintaining contact between the UNHCR and Tibetan communities;
8. Calls on the European External Action Service through its delegation in Kathmandu to closely monitor the political situation in Nepal, especially the treatment of the Tibetan refugees and respect for their constitutionally and internationally enshrined rights, and urges the EU High Representative to address the concerns about the actions taken by the Nepalese Government to block the Tibetan elections, with the Nepalese and Chinese authorities;
9. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Government of Nepal and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
 Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0245.
 OJ C 313 E, 20.12.2006, p. 463.