By Tenzin Sangmo
The Tibetan community in the Netherlands welcoming CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay in Amsterdam in November 2018. PC -tibet.net
DHARAMSHALA, September 6: Tibetans in Netherland called on spokespersons for political parties to put Tibet in the round table discussion agenda on the China memorandum as the parliamentary session begins on 9 September.
Members of Tibetan community are set to gather at Het plein, Den Haag, near the House of Representatives on Monday when Tsering Jampa, the executive director of International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), Europe will address the Permanent Chamber Committee of Foreign Affairs.
Tibetan Community in Netherlands (TCN), along with Tibet Support Group and ICT Europe, based in Amsterdam, had been lobbying for Tibet and human rights situation under China for a long time now, said Karma Ngawang, vice-president of TCN.
The community also plans to participate in a protest with other Tibetan communities in Europe at the UN on September 20 while the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council is underway.
On the occasion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 84th birthday in July this year, 32 prominent Dutchmen, including Adriaan van Dis and Erica Terpstra, called on the government to break the silence about Tibet and to insist on resuming dialogue.
“The destruction of Tibetan identity, religion, and the Tibetan ecosystem is affecting the Netherlands. Because it is at odds with our views on values and human rights. That is why Tibet must be given a place in the Dutch China strategy. Tibet is only lost if we remain silent, " the duo said.
Tibetan community in Netherland is about 800 member strong, administered by the Office of Tibet, Brussels, of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), based in Dharamshala.
The first Tibetan settlers reportedly came in the 70s to study or through adoption and increased exponentially since 2003-2004.
TCN is the only Tibetan association and other political or welfare organizations are not encouraged to form chapters there in order to retain the unity of the small community.
“We support all Tibet related events of all organizations and have members from all three regions of Tibet,” said Ngawang.
The Weekend Tibetan School in Netherlands currently has about 85 students aged five to 19 divided in 1st to Vth grade, managed by eight volunteer teachers.
CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay who visited the country for its ‘Thank You Netherlands’ event in November 2018 met with Dutch government officials in Amsterdam and informed them of the situation in Tibet.