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Tibetan delegation attends inaugural ceremony of South African Parliament

February 16, 2015

Central Tibetan Administration, February 16, 2015 – Department of Information & International Relations (DIIR) Secretary Mr. Tashi Phuntsok, Ms. Nangsa Chodon, Representative of Office of Tibet South Africa and Ms. Tenzin Kunsang, Office of Tibet Staff attended the State of Nation Address (SONA) by President Jacob Zuma of South Africa at Parliament, Cape Town, South Africa on 12 February.

The inauguration of the Parliament takes place annually by the address of the President to the joint session of the Parliament’s two houses.

The Tibetan delegation attended the inaugural session as official guests of Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). Former Presidents Thabo Mbeki and F. We de Klerk were present in the same gallery.

 Earlier in the afternoon, Mr. Phuntsok and delegation had separate formal meetings with Honourable Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, President of the IFP, and Ms. SJ Nkomo Secretary General of the IFP. Mr. Phuntsok briefed them on the current situation in Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s programs, Central Tibetan Administration and the Middle Way Approach.

IFP has 11 members in the South African Parliament. Prince Buthelezi and his party have been consistent supporters of Tibet. The Prince has attended a number of international parliamentary Tibet committee conferences, including at Edinburg and Rome.

The delegation also had formal meeting with Mr. Alderman Ian Nelison, Deputy Mayor, Cape Town City. The Deputy Mayor informed the delegation about Chinese reactions to his comments on Tibetan issues during his meeting with Chinese officials. Mr. Phuntsok emphasised the need for perseverance in order to convince the Chinese on the Middle Way Approach policy

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