By Tendar Tsering
His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Gianni Vernetti, the Vice-President of the Italian Parliamentary Group for Tibet (left)and Matteo Mecacci, the President of the Italian Parliamentary Inter-Group for Tibet (right)in Rome, November 2011.
DHARAMSHALA, February 9: The Italian Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Italian Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution yesterday urging the Italian government to initiate its European Union partners in raising the issue of Tibet during the upcoming EU-China Summit in Beijing on February 14.
The resolution introduced by Gianni Vernetti called upon the Chinese government to immediately end the undeclared martial law in Tibet and resume the deferred dialogue process with the envoys of the Dalai Lama.
Introducing the resolution to the press, Vernetti said: "The Resolution approved today by the Italian Parliament sends a strong message to the People Republic of China requesting an immediate cessation of violence against Tibetan people and Tibetan monks and nuns."
"The resolution commits the (Italian) Government to raise the issue of human rights in Tibet on the occasion of the next European Union-China Summit that will begin February 14th in Beijing."
Referring to the fiery wave of self-immolations and the recent surge in China’s violent crackdown on unarmed Tibetan protesters, the resolution said that these episodes were self-evident of the “extreme despair” to which Tibetan monks and nuns have been driven by the “systematic denial of the right to freely practise their religion”.
The Italian lawmakers also urged the specialised agencies of the United Nations and in particular the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Council to monitor respect for human rights in Tibet.
The resolution which was adopted on February 8, coinciding with the call for a global vigil for Tibet by exile Tibetan leadership, went on to call for the re-opening of Tibet to the outside world, guaranteeing the international media “free and unconditional access.”
The EU-China summit was initially scheduled for October last year.
Ties between EU and China recently hit a rough patch following EU’s condemnation of China and Russia for vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an end to violence in Syria.
Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, said in a statement issued January 5: “We deeply regret that due to the renewed veto of the Russian Federation and China the Security Council was unable to support the call of the League of Arab States for an inclusive, Syrian-led political process conducted in an environment free from violence.”