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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Dalai Lama spokesman critical of DK

October 28, 2011

Politiken (leading Danish newspaper)
21 October 2011

A spokesman for the Tibetan Dalai Lama says that he is disappointed with Denmark’s and Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal’s lack of a more forceful intervention on Tibet during the visit to Denmark earlier this week of Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

“I am disappointed because it is worrying to see people commit suicide. The international community must put pressure on the Chinese on the issue and Denmark had a unique possibility as China’s foreign minister was in the country,” Thubten Samdrup of the Tibet North European Office in London tells Berlingske.

Thubten Samdrup was referring to Monday’s self-immolation of 20-year-old Tenzin Wanmo in Aba in western China. She was the ninth Tibetan nun or monk to set fire to themselves in the past seven months.

“How many nuns and monks have to commit suicide before the world wakes up,” Thubten Samdrup added.

The Office of Tibet in London describes itself as the official agency of the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration in-exile in Northern Europe, the Baltic States and Poland.

According to the report, Thubten’s reaction came after he sent a telefax to Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal on Monday in which he asked Søvndal to address the specific problem of Tibetan monks committing suicide to protest against harassment.

Berlingske reports that the issue of self-immolation was not mentioned during talks between Søvndal and Yang.

Following the meeting on Wednesday, however, Søvndal told reporters that the issue of Tibet, minorities and religious freedoms had been discussed as part of a human rights compendium.

“In concrete terms we discussed Tibet, we discussed human rights in general… I mentioned our view that we would like to see more autonomy in Tibet, greater cultural and religious freedom, a wish that China was more ambitious in connection with human rights in general, the EU’s views on the death penalty and the suchlike,” Søvndal told reporters.

But Søvndal added that attitudes to China should be balanced, given that the country ‘has pulled 300-400 people out of poverty’ and was an engine for the world economy without which the current economic crisis would be much worse than it was.

Søvndal’s Socialist People’s Party has long been a firm supporter of the Tibetan cause.

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