Speaker Penpa Tsering (l) and Deputy Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel (r) address the press in Dharamshala on Janury 27, 2012. (Phayul photo/Tendar Tsering)
DHARAMSHALA, January 28: In solidarity with the ongoing crisis in Tibet, members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) will sit on a hunger fast on the first day of Tibetan new year ‘Losar’ on February 22.
Speaker Penpa Tsering and Deputy Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel announced a series of other solidarity campaigns at a press conference yesterday held at the Tibetan headquarters in Dharamshala.
"Tibetan parliamentarians will sit on fast on the first day of the Tibetan New Year, and we urge all Tibetans to observe fasting to show solidarity and support with the Tibetans inside Tibet," Speaker Tsering said.
In the coming days, a four-member delegation of Tibetan parliamentarians will be travelling to the Indian capital New Delhi to meet representatives of the United Nations and various countries including those of the Chinese embassy.
Working through its network of support groups in over 20 parliaments worldwide, Tibetan lawmakers will strive to see that new resolutions on Tibet are tabled in their respective parliaments.
In a four-page press release in Tibetan, the parliamentarians noted that during the upcoming March session of the Tibetan Parliament, a special resolution will be tabled, coinciding with the one year anniversary of monk Phuntsog’s self-immolation on March 16, 2011. The parliamentarians will debate on the critical situation inside Tibet in the course of the discussions.
Speaker Tsering said the TPiE neither encourages nor discourages Tibetans inside Tibet from carrying out protests.
"They (Tibetans inside Tibet) are far more innovative than us in organising protests. They use slogans and organise protests in a way that we in exile can barely think of," the Speaker said.
The parliamentarians made a strong appeal to world leaders for their intervention in deescalating the prevailing critical situation inside Tibet.
"We are confident that while engaging constructively with China, you will not refrain from voicing your concern for the values of democracy, equality, justice and basic human rights that you so very much cherish," the Speaker noted.
The Tibetan law makes also released an open letter addressed to the president of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Hu Jintao urging him to withdraw the large reinforcement of military from Tibetan areas and take measure to give due consideration to the aspirations of the Tibetan people.
“As President of PRC, you have professed harmonious relationship between nationalities as one of the cardinal principles for nation building. However, what you said and what is being implemented is self contradictory,” the letter noted.
“We have heard your leaders, over and over again that the western world does not treat China on an equal footing. And may we ask, do you treat your nationalities on an equal footing?”
The letter urged President Hu to “stop policies and programmes aimed at destroying the identity of the Tibetan people” and called for a “Tibetan fact finding delegation” to be allowed to visit Tibet.
The Tibetan parliamentarians also urge the Chinese President to “resume dialogue with the Tibetans with the commitment and conviction to seek a lasting solution to the issue of Tibet.”
“We express the above sentiments with hope in our hearts that positive sense will prevail over you and your colleagues and immediately respond to the legitimate concerns, failing which you and your government will be held solely responsible for any adverse consequences if the matter are not addressed in a humane way,” the letter read.
Following the fiery wave of self-immolation that has seen 16 Tibetans set themselves on fire since March 2011, at least a dozen Tibetans are feared to have been killed in Chinese police firings in three separate incidents in Serthar, Ngaba and Drongo region of Tibet, this week alone.