By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, June 22: The 8th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet is underway at Washington DC beginning June 22 to 23, which is organized by the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile based in Dharamshala. Over 100 participants from 26 countries and ten members from the Tibetan parliament will attend the convention to discuss matters including the resumption of the Sino-Tibet dialogue among other key objectives at the international meeting.
“This convention is in continuation of the previous seven sessions of WPCT aimed to strengthen and coordinate support by parliamentarians from different countries to resolve the Tibet issue,” the press release issued on Monday stated. 17th TPiE members Geshe Lharampa Atuk Tseten, Kunga Sotop, Khenpo Kada Ngedup Sonam, Geshe Lharampa Gowo Lobsang Phende, Mingyur Dorjee, Geshe Atong Rinchen Gyaltsen, Tsering Dolma, Tenzin Jigdal, Choedak Gyatso, and Lobsang Thupten are currently in the US for the convention and for other official visits set till June 27.
“A country with fundamental values of democracy and equality, we honor the important role played by the United States Congress in formulating policy initiatives on Tibet, including institutionalizing support through several legislations,” the statement further noted.
The parliamentarians said that they will draw attention to the Tibetan people’s commitment to “democratic norms and values” in exile. The convention’s itinerary includes panel discussions, briefing sessions and messages from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and US Speaker Nancy Pelosi to discuss important issues facing Tibet by noted parliamentarians from different countries, experts and activists.
The three main objectives of holding the 8th World parliamentarians’ convention on Tibet were stated in the press statement as follows; emphasizing on the role of legislators in shaping the Tibet narrative on global platforms; for parliamentarians to join world leaders in speaking about human rights violation inside Tibet; and to spearhead initiatives to support resumption of dialogue between the representatives of Dalai Lama and the People’s Republic of China for a resolution as early as possible.
The previous conventions have been held in Vilnius, Lithuania (1995); Washington D.C. in US (1997); Edinburgh, Scotland (U.K.) (2005); Rome, Italy (2009); Ottawa, Canada (2012); and Riga, Latvia (2019).