By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, May 25: A cross-party delegation of assistants of European Parliamentary expressed their continued support for Tibet’s struggle for freedom and pledged to raise human rights and environmental issues before the parliament during its maiden visit to Dharamsala today.
Currently touring Dharamsala, the seven-member delegation said it aims to gain ‘firsthand experience and knowledge’ about Tibetan society in exile and Tibetan struggle during its weeklong tour organized by the Office of Tibet, Brussels, Belgium.
“We wanted them to experience so that they can see where their support is going and what else can be done in the future,” said Rigzin Choedon Genkhang, EU Advocacy Officer of the Brussels’ office.
A cross-party delegation of assistants of European Parliamentary during their press conference in Dharamsala.
Crediting the newly-formed group of assistants to MEPs for enabling Brussels Office to make a high profile presence in the European Parliament and the EU - Resolution on Larung Gar, Nyima Lhamo’s hearing at the Human Rights Sub-Committee and the Conference on the Reincarnation of the Dalai Lama - Rigzin thanked the delegation for their continuous support.
“I also admire your peaceful patience how you are dealing with your struggle, which is not an easy struggle to remain peaceful,” Forro said, “The Middle Way Approach can only be reached through dialogue. In Europe, we were starting to lose patience but this visit put me to shame for nearly losing hope. So until you achieve your goal, I would like to promise our full support in any way.”
Harriet Clayton, assistant to Scott-Cato from Green group said that her office took interest in Tibet with regards to the environmental degradation on the Tibetan Plateau. Surprised at the awareness of young Tibetans students on issues regarding the degradation of the environment, she said,' “It was very inspirational to hear from the community leaders and students for taking awareness on such issues."
Francesco Giorgi, assistant to MEP Panzeri from Social and Democratic Group, described Nobel Peace Prize as the common ground between Tibet and the EU and expressed his admiration for Tibet’s peaceful struggle.
“The persistence and endurance of Tibetans to keep the dream alive and to keep the peaceful struggle alive is a source of inspiration for all the western countries,” Giorgi said adding that they would try to echo the message of peace and nonviolence.
Dalila Bernard, assistant to MEP Preda from European People’s Party thanked the exile government and the Brussels office for making the visit possible, which has given them ‘new tools’ to work better for Tibetan cause.
“The main challenge for us is to make Tibet matter everyday. Many consider Tibet’s conflict as hopeless conflict, but we don’t,” said Bernard.
The members of the delegation have met with the officials from the exile administration and representatives of various Tibetan NGOs. They have also visited Tibetan schools, monasteries, nunneries and cultural centers in Dharamsala.