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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."

Tibet question raised in Norwegian parliament

March 29, 2010

Report from Norwegian Tibet Committee
24 March 2010

The Tibet question was once again raised in Norwegian parliament session on
March 24. The main question was submitted written to the Foreign Minister in
advance from the liberal party. The question answer session was live
telecast on national channel.

Question, MP Abid Q. Raja , (liberal party.)
 "Recently Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama met the U.S.  President
Barack Obama in Washington, DC in spite of protests from the Chinese
government. In what way the Norwegian authorities can contribute to create a
mutually acceptable solution to the Tibet issue, both within and outside the
Norwegian-Chinese dialogue, and ensure basic human rights and genuine
autonomy for Tibetans?"

There were two follow up questions after the answer from Foreign Minister to
the main question.
Foreign Minister answers,

"I think I can say quite honestly that we do not completely trust what the
Chinese authorities say about the situation for minorities. We have seen
many times such information does not reflect the realities on the ground,
and therefore there is a need for an external and critical look at the
situation. The representative Raja's proposal I will have to have a closer
look at, but I can say that we carry out from time to time visits by
different delegations to get a first hand understanding of the situation. I
know there are different aspects of this as well, because the programme and
control is often designed to limit access and a broader understanding of the
real situation. Our position is that there should be free access for
delegations and others to visit Tibet, which means normal access like to
other countries.

"Still I feel we have good access to information about the real situation in
Tibet, through different sources - both formally and informally, enabling us
to raise key issues with the Chinese authorities both in direct political
processes and through other processes."

 "Our principal position is that universally acknowledged human rights
should be respected, that is a universal perspective and also our concern.
We have developed a robust dialogue with China where we can openly and
directly confront the issues of our concern related to human rights. Let me
also add that Norway will not shy away from raising universal human rights
concerns towards any country, whether small or big."
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