September 30, 2005
The conference opened by the President of Taiwan, Chen Shui-bian,
saw over 300 democrats from over 20 different countries. The forum for Asia
by the Asians called upon promotion of democracy in Asia and to support democratic
movements in Asia by fellow Asian countries.
The Tibetan delegation comprised of Mr. Pema Chonjor, Former Minister for Security in Tibetan government-in-exile, Mr. Khedrup Thondup, former member of Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies, Mr. Tseten Norbu, Tibet Institute and Mr. Tenzin Norgay, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy. Mr. Tseten Norbu made a presentation on "Strategies to Assist Democratization in Closed Societies" with emphasis on the situation in Tibet during a concurrent strategy session on 15 September 2005.
The forum, organized by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and four other initiating organizations (ALTSEAN, ARDA, FAD, IID) recognized the stifling role played by People's Republic of China in promotion of democracy in Asia because of its influence. While recognizing the repression in Tibet by the Chinese government, Tibet received numerable mention during the conference in terms of violation of religious rights and freedom of speech.
The Taipei Declaration on Democracy in Asia adopted at the close of the first biennial conference for WFDA states the deteriorating political situation in Tibet along with other Asian countries with grim political situations. The Tibetan delegation urged the WFDA participating countries to support the "middle way" approach of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the principle of self-determination for the Tibetans to press for tangible results from the negotiation process. The country specific framework for action for Tibet reads:
Under the PRC occupation, Tibetans are a minority in their own land. Based on its support for the principle of self-determination for the Tibetan people, WFDA will:
1.1. Support campaigns and other efforts to promote awareness of the "middle way" approach and the Five Point Peace Plan proposed by the Dalai Lama among other Asian countries, in order to urge these countries to press for tangible results from the negotiation process.
1.2. Assist a wider variety of Tibetan organizations, including civil society groups as well as the institutions of the Government-in-exile, to build more regional linkages and participate more actively in regional networks. WFDA can provide contacts and logistical support for a series of visits by Tibetan activists to countries around the region.
1.3. Campaign for the release of Tenzin Delek, the Panchen Lama, and other prisoners of conscience.
The next biennial conference for World Forum for Democratization in Asia will be held in 2007. The participating countries will scrutinize the current framework for action and look for any improvement in the political situation of countries of concern.