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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Chinese-Tibetan Friendship Society Europe Organize Debate in Belgium

October 17, 2010

James Dunn
The Tibet Post International
October 12, 2010

Antwerpen -- On Saturday 9th October the
Chinese-Tibetan Friendship Society Europe (CTFSE)
organized a debate evening in Antwerpen, Belgium,
entitled "What about Tibet after 61 years of
oppression?" It featured Tibetan speakers from
all over Europe including Lobsang Nyima the
Liaison Officer appointed for relations with
Chinese people for the three Offices of Tibet in
Europe (Geneva, London and Brussels/Paris). An
additional speaker was Mona Zhimin Tang,
originally from China now living in Belgium, who
joined the student protests in Beijing in 1989.

The debate was multilingual, in Tibetan, Chinese
and Dutch, and all the discussions were
translated in the other languages. The main point
of discussion was freedom and the vast reaction
by the Chinese government and state media to the
Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, Mona stated
"People get the wrong information and may not
talk about things is a normal way. The Chinese
people are hungry for democracy and more
openness, but the news is blocked and censored."

Mona's speech was followed by a testimony of a
Tibetan nun concerning her 12 years spent in a
Chinese prison, Dennis Barbion, board member of
CTFSE stated that it was "very touching and
emotional". She concluded her speech by stating
that "Right now, even this second, the political
prisoners still experience the same terrible
things that I had to undergo. Please let us not
forget this and let's do something about this!"

Main speaker, Mr. Lobsang Nyima discussed the
conduct of the Chinese leaders and government. He
also talked about censorship which is rife in the
media. "All the information is controlled by the
Chinese authorities and they also give false
information about the reality in China and Tibet
to the outside world." "There is much more
corruption in China as well, much more than in
the past." "About 10-15% only of the people in
China have sufficient finances, around 85% not.
There is a lot of (semi-)poverty." Moreover he
added that "The reality in China is not the image
that China wants to show the outside world."

The successful debate lasted over two hours and
was concluded by a Tibetan member of the audience
stating that "A democratic movement is growing in
China. Democracy and more freedom are most important for China and Tibet."
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