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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."

Tibetan representatives bring more Tibet awareness in Sweden

March 11, 2009

Office of Tibet, London
March 10, 2009

Speaking to a group of journalists on Monday in the Swedish Parliament in the capital Stockholm, Mr. Kelsang Gyaltsen, the Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for European Union, said that Tibet was currently sealed off by the heavy presence of Chinese soldiers and military personnel.

"Tibet is like a giant prison," he said adding that the Tibetans are facing the harshest wave of repression since the days of the “Cultural Revolution” overseen by the then Chinese dictator Mao Tse-tung.

On their arrival in the Swedish Parliament, Mr. Gyaltsen and Mr. Tsering Tashi, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Northern Europe, Poland and Baltic States, based in the London Office of Tibet, were welcomed by members of the Swedish Parliamentary Group for Tibet lead by Mr. Sven Bergstrom, MP.

Answering a question from the media, Mr. Gyaltsen said that despite all the repression and tight control in Tibet, the spirit of the Tibetan people remained unbroken and that the “third and fourth generation of Tibetans”, born after the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet, were now on the forefront of leading the Tibetan freedom struggle.

He called upon the world leaders, parliaments and international humanitarian organisations to put pressure on the Chinese authorities to allow independent observers to investigate the real problems facing the Tibetan people. He said the increasing international support for Tibet and growing understanding shown by many Chinese to the Tibetan plight is a sign for optimism.

The pictures of the Tibetan representatives being welcomed to the Swedish Parliament and Mr. Gyaltsen’s interview was also shown by the Swedish TV channel 4 on their prime time evening news slot seen by millions of people.

Speaking to members of the Swedish Parliamentary Group for Tibet, Mr. Gyaltsen said from His Holiness and the Tibetan side have done and made every concession to resolve the Tibet issue. He said it is now for the Chinese government to respond positively and to admit that the issue is about finding a solution to ensure the happiness of the Tibetans inside Tibet, who even after 50 years show contempt for the authoritarian Chinese rule.

Mr. Gyaltsen, accompanied by Mr. Tashi, also met with officials of the Swedish Government and briefed them about the current situation in Tibet and the Sino-Tibetan dialogue of which the former is one of the two envoys representing His Holiness to have engaged so far in having eight rounds of talks with representatives of the Chinese government. The Swedish government officials explained to the Tibetan representatives the position of their government on Tibet vis-v-vis China and explained how their Foreign Minister had raised the Tibet question during his visit to Beijing earlier this month.

Mr. Gyaltsen and Mr. Tashi were visiting Stockholm at the invitation of the Tibetan Community in Sweden. They addressed a public talk on Sunday where Mr. Gyaltsen spoke about the Sino-Tibetan dialogue. The public event organised by the Tibetan Community was also attended by Swedish Tibet Committee board members, who had a separate meeting with the Tibetan representatives. Prior to his return to London on Tuesday, Mr. Tashi also met with officials of Swedish Amnesty International.

The visit of the Tibetan representatives to Sweden not only helped to boost the morale of the Tibetans and their supporters and also generated more public and media interest and awareness for the just cause of Tibet.
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