July 24, 2006
Tibet: EU Delegation Says Tibet Will Not Be Forgotten
The European Parliament has passed a resolution asking the international community to look at the issues faced by Tibetan refugees and so we are here to support you and to see how we can go forward, said Neena Gill, one member of the European Parliament Delegation in Tibet, during her visit to the Tibetan Refugee Transit Center in Kathmandu on 21 July
The seven members of the European Parliament Delegation including their leader Neena Gill and Thomas Mann visited the Tibetan Refugee Transit Center in Kathmandu on 21 July. The members of the delegation who are on a six day mission to Nepal also visited the center to meet newly arrived Tibetans from Tibet and see the center. They addressed about 50 newly arrived Tibetans who are at the center.
Neena Gill in her address said, "As you are aware, we have been concerned about the issues concerning the Tibetan refugees and I am delighted that we have this opportunity to be with you to find out more about the issues and your concerns. The European Parliament has passed a resolution asking the international community to look at the issues faced by Tibetan refugees and so we are here to support you and to see how we can go forward, how we can move forward and I really would like to invite my colleague Mr. Thomas Mann to say something because he has taken this issue up. Personally it has been his fight in the European Parliament and I am very pleased that he has brought all of us here to enable you to raise your concerns and discuss your concerns with us".
Mr. Thomas Mann in his address said, "It is not easy for us to convince the people living in Nepal because of much pressure from outside, mostly from the Chinese people but we the European Union, we always did the best I think. In the European Parliament we always tabled resolutions for the future of the Tibetan people. I personally have the opportunity to visit five times with the Dalai Lama and I hope it is possible also for you. In 2001, His Holiness the Dalai Lama had the opportunity, for the first time in our history, in front of the Parliamentarians, he could use his Tibetan language. It was not possible at home, he convinced the whole European societies and very often he was in front of us with the friends of the Tibetan Inter Group and when he used his voice, the people are able to hear and they hear the very strong signal.
You have the right to celebrate your religion, you have the right to be free, you have the right to move wherever you can, so we will do the best so that you get the Refugee Certificate (RC) cards and move forward to India. Other people try to call you illegal but you are not illegal, you have the right to be here. I will again be in Dharamsala and I will show all the documents we get and I hope I also have good news. All the best to you for the future, we will not forget you".
Judy Cheng Hopkins, Assistant High Commissioner of Refugees from the UNHCR Headquarters who is on a four day official visit was also scheduled to visit the Center but had to cancel due to ill health.