China acknowledges “private representative” of the Dalai Lama
Phayul[Wednesday, February 14, 2007 16:55]
By Ngawang C. Drakmargyapon
Phayul Special Correspondent

Geneva, 14 February - A news bulletin released on Monday by China’s Mission to the European Union publicly acknowledges that the Chinese Government has received representatives of Tibet’s spiritual and political leader, the Dalai Lama. This official confirmation from Beijing was released in view of the agenda of current plenary session of the European Parliament which on Thursday is scheduled to adopt a resolution on Tibet titled, “dialogue between the Chinese government and envoys of the Dalai Lama.”

“Since 1979 up to now, the related Chinese Departments have received representatives and delegations of Dalai for over 20 times. Since 2002, the private representative of Dalai Lama have met with head of related Department of the central government for 5 times,” the news bulletin said.

According to the website of the European Parliament, the legislative body of the 27 Member countries of the European Union (EU), Tibet appears on the agenda of the Parliament’s session which began on Monday in Strasbourg, France. The website adds that towards the end of this session, the parliament will have “three debates and vote on resolutions relating to human rights in the world.”

Sources say that the resolution on Tibet is expected to have a swift passage with the backing from the majority of the political parties represented in the 785 members of the European Parliament. The Tibet resolution will urge the Chinese leadership and the Dalai Lama to continue their present talks and calls upon the European Union to elaborate the manner by which “the EU could facilitate progress towards a peaceful and negotiated solution for Tibet.” The resolution reiterates the Parliament’s earlier calls for the appointment of an EU Special Representative for Tibet.

The present Tibet resolution comes up on the agenda of the European Parliament after the body at the end of October 2006 condemned China over the Nangpa Pass killings of Tibetans on 30 September 2006. In that resolution the Parliament condemned “the excessive use of force by the Chinese People’s Armed Police in firing upon unarmed Tibetan civilians, including children …the killing of an unarmed civilian who, being under 18 years of age, was also considered a child under international law". The Members of the Parliament urged the Chinese authorities urged “to conduct a full investigation into the events at Nangpa Pass and ensure that those responsible for any crimes committed there are brought to justice “.

Last month following a visit to China, Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European Union’s head of foreign relations said that lifting the EU’s embargo was dependent on conditions such as China ratifying a UN convention on civil and political rights. China repeatedly terms the embargo as “political discrimination.”

This Strasbourg meeting of the European Parliament will be the first to be presided by the body’s new President Hans-Gert Poettering of Germany and the first time that new member-parliamentarians from Bulgaria and Romania will take their seats after at the beginning of the year these two countries became the latest members to join the European Union.

Last week, the Senate of Canada saw a motion being tabled by Senator Consiglio Di Nino urging, "the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Dalai Lama, notwithstanding their differences on Tibet's historical relationship with China, to continue their dialogue in a forward-looking manner that will lead to pragmatic solutions that respect the Chinese constitutional framework, the territorial integrity of China and fulfill the aspirations of the Tibetan people for a unified and genuinely autonomous Tibet.

Titled, “On Tibet issue”, the 3-page news bulletin issued by Beijing Mission to the European Union hoped “that members of the European Parliament will have better knowledge about today’s Tibet and refrain from listening only to one side. The Chinese government opposes to the internationalization of Tibet issue, and let alone accept the appointment of so-called “Tibet affair representative.”