By Tenzin Dharpo
The Dalai Lama hosts a luncheon in honour of Botswana’s former President Ian Khama and the high-level parliamentary delegation from ten countries at his residence on March 10, 2019. Photo- OHHDL
DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 11: Visiting delegates including parliament members from ten countries and former President of Botswana Ian Khama condemned the growing number of global leaders who have shunned the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama fearing Chinese government censure and backlash.
Delegates who visited the seat of the exile Tibetan government on the anniversary of the sensitive ‘Tibetan Uprising Day’ on Sunday posed a united front in expressing solidarity for the Tibetan people and espousing their admiration and respect for the octogenarian Tibetan leader.
During a press conference held yesterday at Norbu House here, former President of Bostwana who defied official and security protocols to accept the invitation of the Central Tibetan Administration to come to Dharamshala said that shunning a leader like Dalai Lama is hypocrisy and is dictated by self interest of said nations. He said that there is huge imbalance in standards when they avoid the Dalai Lama but on the other hand leaders such as US President Donald Trump embrace Kim Jong Un who is a serial human rights violator, to serve a short sighted interest.
German MP Michael Brand said that by not meeting with a Nobel laureate like Dalai Lama, leaders are “belittling themselves and ignoring their fundamental values”. He said that sanctions placed by China on nations who do not kow-tow to them should have similar measures set up against China.
Canadian MP Garnett Genuis said that appeasing China is both “morally wrong and strategically foolish”. He said that China’s seemingly generous economic prospects are in the end designed to work for their own interest and hence the global community should put up a stiffer resistance to China’s aggressive influence in the world today so that values such as human rights and democracy will not be used as bargaining chips.
Following the official ceremony yesterday, delegates were hosted luncheon by the Dalai Lama at the latter’s residence here.
The parliamentary delegation that visited Dharamshala include Mr. Michael Brand, Member of the German Bundestag; Mr Thomas Mann, Member of European Parliament, President of the Tibet Interest Group; Mr. Garnett Genuis, member of Parliament from Alberta representing Conservative Party of Canada; Ms. Linda Duncan, Member of Parliament from Alberta representing New Democratic Party of Canada; Mrs. Lucia Duris Nicholsonova, Deputy Chairman of the Slovak National Council; Ms. Mei Nu Yu, MP, Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan; Ms Sandy Kalyan, MP, Democratic Alliance, South Africa; Mr Alberto de Belaunde, MP, Liberal Party, Peru; Ms Antonella Incerti, MP, Democratic Party, Italy; Mr. Matteo Bianchi, Legal Party, President of the Commission for the relations with European countries and Dr Yang Jianli from the Citizen Power Initiatives for China.