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"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

Special meeting for MP

November 12, 2007

Bexhill on Sea Observer
November 8,2007

Polegate MP Norman Baker flew to India to meet the Dalai Lama after he
was 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.

Mr Baker recently undertook a whistlestop visit to Dharamsala, the base
of the Tibetan government-in-exile, where he was able to meet His
Holiness the Dalai Lama for an audience lasting more than 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.

The MP 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-chair of the All-Party Tibet Group in the
House of Commons.
Last Updated: 08 November 2007 6:39 AM

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