July 14, 2010

Tibet: Dalai Lama’s Birthday Marked in Brussels

Sample ImageMEPs and activists celebrate the 75th birthday of H.H. the Dalai Lama with speeches drawing attention to Chinese state media control and the quiet determination of the Tibetan people

Below is an article published by UNPO:

The Concert Noble played host a celebration of the 75th birthday of H.H. the Dalai Lama on 13 July 2010 with UNPO joining guests representing European Union institutions, civil society, and campaigners for Tibet. Many of those present travelled form across Belgium to mark the day and to publicly demonstrate their support for the Tibetan Government-in-Exile’s Middle Way policy.

Opening remarks by Mr, Tashi Wangdi, Representative for Western Europe, Magreb and EU for the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), reminded those present that within Tibet there could be no public celebration of the Dalai Lama’s birthday within Tibet but that Tibetans had marked the day in their own private way and that the Tibetan culture, identity, and support for the Dalai Lama and the Middle Way remained undented.

Mr. Wangdi drew the audience’s attention to the constricted media space in China and the effect this had on the perceptions of ordinary Chinese towards Tibet and the Dalai Lama. Referring to visit of Chinese scholars to the United States, Mr. Wangdi noted that most Chinese could be receptive to the dialogue over the Tibet question but Beijing’s obstinacy remained the key stumbling block.

Mr. Thomas Mann MEP, chair of the European Parliament’s Tibet Intergroup echoed Mr. Wangdi’s sentiments, and reiterated the commitment of the Intergroup to supporting the campaign for the rights of Tibetans and refuting Beijing labelling of the Dalai Lama as a ‘splittist’ - despite consistent statements from the CTA to the contrary.

The evening closed with a celebration of Tibetan culture, centred on displays of traditional dance and music performed by members of the Tibetan diaspora in Belgium.

Celebrations marking the Dalai Lama’s birthday will also be marked by an exhibition in the European Parliament sponsored by Mr. Thomas Man MEP and Ms. Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg MEP in conjunction with the Bureau du Tibet. The exhibition, entitled “Journey for Peace”, will run from 12-16 July 2010.

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