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Self-immolations issue: Tibetan parliamentarians start session wearing black ribbons

March 16, 2012

DHARAMSHALA: In an exceptional move, the Tibetan parliament's budget session took off on a somber note on Wednesday, with members entering the house wearing black ribbons, displaying the slogan " Save Tibet".

The session, first for Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay, who also joined others by wearing the black ribbon, witnessed daylong debates on the ongoing self-immolation spree inside Tibet.

Self-immolations have gradually gone up after the uprising of 2008, with over 25 such incidents in and outside Tibet. "Despite the fact that budget session is usually meant for legislative work and discussions on cabinet decisions, today's session was dedicated to the critical situation inside Tibet," speaker of the parliament said.

"We will have discussions on other matters also. The administrative and legislative issues will be discussed, but it is a priority for us to discuss the sufferings of our compatriots inside Tibet," he added.

The parliament-in-exile has 44 members, who deliberated on the issue, with some even suggesting that Tibetans in exile should move back to Tibet, while others suggested that Tibetans living in exile in various parts of the world should hold activities inside Tibet.

Bawa Kalsang Gyalsten, member of the Tibetan parliament from Dotoe province, suggested that Tibetans should hold a march back to Tibet to express solidarity with their brothers and sisters there.

During the lengthy discussions, it was highlighted that the situation inside Tibet was critical and that China should immediately allow a fact finding delegation by international community to visit Tibet, sources said. The parliament also reiterated the stand that it can't comment whether the self-immolations inside Tibet were violent or non-violent, they added.

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