October 24, 2006

Tibet: On European Parliament Agenda

According to the website of the European Parliament, the situation in Tibet will be taken up in the agenda of this week’s session of the Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

Geneva, October 23 - According to the website of the European Parliament, the legislative body of the 25 Member countries of the European Union, the situation in Tibet will be taken up in the agenda of this week’s session of the Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

The website said that the October Plenary session of the Parliament from 23 to 26 of the month will conclude with adoption of resolutions on three human rights situations which includes Tibet. “The session ends as usual with three debates and votes on resolutions relating to human rights. On this occasion the topics are: Tibet, the trial of Rios Montt (the former dictator of Guatemala) and Uzbekistan,” the article said.

Sources say that the main concern of the resolution on Tibet will be the 30 September killing of Tibetans by Chinese soldiers on the Nangpa Pass on the Tibet/Nepal border. The European Parliament is expected to strongly condemn the People’s Republic of China over the brutal act on more than 70 Tibetans who were attempting to enter Nepal.

41 Tibetans who survived the shooting have now reached India but there are no information forthcoming from the Chinese authorities about the fate of other Tibetans, including children who were arrested by Chinese soldiers. At a press meeting in the Indian capital Delhi today, several Tibetans the group spoke about their ordeal to the international media.

During the latest European Union-China Human Rights Dialogue held on Thursday in Beijing, the European Union has said that it “discussed” the Nangpa Pass shooting on the Tibetans with their Chinese counterparts. In a press statement following this meeting, the European Union said that it has “asked for clarification and urged the China to investigate incident thoroughly.” However, the Finish Presidency of the European Union has so far failed to issue a public statement of condemnation over the Nangpa Pass killings.

The inclusion of Tibet in the agenda of the current European Parliament meeting after the Parliament on 7 September adopted a critical report on the human rights in present-day China which made specific references to the situation in Tibet.

As the international outrage over the Nangpa Pass shootings grow, Tibetans in the Swiss capital Bern are to hold a candle-light vigil in front of the Federal Building tomorrow afternoon in view of the scheduled visit to China by the Swiss Foreign Minister, Ms. Micheline Calmy-Rey, which begins on Thursday.