By Kelsang Rinchen,
Dharamsala – A Swiss Parliamentary delegation has arrived in Dharamsala two days back. The delegation comprised of Mr. Mario Fehr, President of the Swiss Parliamentary Group for Tibet, Mr. Fabio Pedrina, member, Ms. Kathy Riklin, member, Ms. Maya Graf, member, Ms. Ruth Gonseth, former MP and Representative of Swiss Tibet Friendship Group and Mr. Christian Ruch, member of Swiss Tibet Friendship Group. Accompanying them are Ms. Anna Maria Reidi, Ms. Daniela Kuhn, Mr. Bhugyal, Secretry, Office of Tibet Geneva, Mr. Tenzin D. Sewo, President, Tibetan Youth Association, Europe and Ms. Nima Changten, Vice President, Swiss Tibetan Community.
This is the first foreign parliamentary team to visit the exile Tibetan headquarters this year. His Holiness the Dalai Lama took time off from his teachings today to call on the Swiss Politicians who have come here on the invitation of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies which is currently holding its session.
The delegation had the opportunity to witness the exile Tibetan parliament in session. They also met with the various Tibetan Non Governmental Organizations and visited Tibetan schools and cultural institutions in Dharamsala.
At a press briefing held today at the Lhakpa Tsering memorial hall of the Department of Information and International Relations, Mr. Mario Fehr , the head of the delegation expressed hopes for a possible negotiation between the exile Tibetan government headed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Beijing leadership.
On asked if he had any specific reason to believe in a hopeful dispatch of a second delegation to Tibet since the deadlock in Sino -Tibetan relations, Mr. Fehr said that he felt a strong hope after the Swiss delegation’s meeting with His Holiness, the ATPD Chief and the Kalon Tripa. “The Kalon Tripa’s Tenth March statement itself is an indication of it”, he added.
Assuring their full support to the exile Tibetan government’s aspiration of resolving Tibet issue through dialogue, the Swiss delegation expressed eagerness to propose Switzerland as a prospective venue for talks as Swiss government has shown keen interest to host such international dialogues.
Mr. Fehr expressed his appreciation at the systematic running of the exile Tibetan government under His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Kashag and the ATPD to help resolve Tibet issue. He said his team is happy to see and experience the working of Tibetan government and its people personally.
In retrospection, he said that the first contacts between the Switzerland and Tibet dates back to the sixties when the Swiss government undertook the resettlement project of about a thousand Tibetan refugees in its territory.
Kelsang Rinchen can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.