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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

MP meets Dalai Lama

October 21, 2007

Sussex Express, England
19 Oct

LEWES MP Norman Baker has been named as the new president of the
UK-based Tibet Society.
His appointment follows the death of the previous president, the
former House of Commons speaker Lord (Jack) Wetherall.

To celebrate his appointment, the LibDem MP undertook a whistlestop
visit to Dharamsala in northern India, the base of the Tibetan
government-in-exile, where he was able to meet the His Holiness the
Dalai Lama for an audience lasting over an hour and a half, in which
the political situation in Tibet was extensively discussed.

The Tibet Society, established in 1960 shortly after the Chinese
invasion of Tibet, campaigns against the Chinese occupation of Tibet,
and for better treatment of Tibetans in Tibet.

It also runs a separate Tibet relief fund, which provides financial
support to Tibetans in exile in India
and elsewhere.

Mr Baker said: 'I have long been actively involved in opposing the
illegal Chinese occupation of Tibet and have introduced a number of
debates in Parliament on the issue.

'The matter is now critical, as the Chinese are using the newly opened
railway into Lhasa for the mass migration of Han Chinese into Tibet,
with the clear aim of making the Tibetans a tiny minority in their own
country.

'Sadly the Chinese are also continuing to practice the most appalling
human rights abuses on the Tibetan population, including torture and
arbitrary arrest, sometimes just for possessing a picture of the Dalai
Lama.

'The good news is that the spotlight will be on the Chinese next year
with the Olympic Games, and that gives us a chance to push Tibet up
the world's political agenda.'

Mr Baker also serves as vice-chairman of the All-Party Tibet Group in
the House of Commons.

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