The 1st Europe Tibetan Congress will take place in Basel, Switzerland from 11-12 October 2008. The Congress will provide a platform for Tibetans living in Europe to discuss political responsibilities and challenges, as well as how Tibetan religion and culture can be preserved and practiced in Exile in Europe among the Tibetans.
Over 125 Tibetan delegates from 14 European countries will attend the 1st Europe Tibetan Congress. The large numbers of delegations demonstrates the importance the Tibetans in Europe attaches to this Congress.
The Congress which was initially to be inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama will now be presided over by Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche. His Holiness the Dalai Lama due to his health condition had to cancel his Europe tour. The absence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is deeply regretted by the Tibetans in Europe.
"Nevertheless, in view of the very critical time that the non-violent freedom struggle of the Tibetan people is facing presently, the Steering Committee of the 1st Europe Tibetan Congress has decided to continue to convene the Congress as planned," said Chugdak Koren of the Steering Committee for 1st Europe Tibetan Congress.
“We are most fortunate that Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche (the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile) has graciously accepted our invitation to be the keynote speaker at the Congress, as initially planned,” says Mr. Karma Pangring, the President of Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtenstein as well as the President of the Steering Committee for the Congress.