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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibet Receives a Special Mention at the Opening of the Oslo Freedom Forum

May 20, 2009

Norwegian Tibet Committee
May 18, 2009

Oslo, May 18 -- The Oslo Freedom Forum, a
gathering that brings together some of the
world's leading minds to honour survivors of
political oppression and persecution, was opened
this evening by patron and human rights advocate,
Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.

Gesturing towards invited speaker, Palden Gyatso,
and conference participants Chungdak Koren and
Dechen Pemba, she spoke emotionally of her visit
to the exiled Tibetan community in Dharamsala,
northern India, and of her meetings with His
Holiness the Dalai Lama. She cited people such as
Palden Gyatso as the “true lights” in this world
and spoke of the importance of highlighting human rights struggles.

The Forum has been organized by the US-based
Human Rights Foundation with local support from
various organizations including the Norwegian
Tibet Committee. Chungdak Koren, the Norwegian
Tibet Committee’s Executive Director said, "This
is an important international platform for
raising the issue of Tibet in a space for
promoting exchange and the sharing of
experiences. I am proud to present Palden Gyatso,
who spent 33 years in prison, as one of the
oldest Tibetan political prisoners and at the
same time also a second generation Tibetan,
Dechen Pemba, who has been born and brought up in
the UK but has also experienced human rights
violations at the hands of the Chinese government."

"I’m also encouraged that so many members of the
business community are taking part in the Forum
and it’s important for them to be concerned about
human rights,” Chungdak Koren continued.

The conference will take place over two days and
includes participants from thirty countries.
Speakers will also include Harry Wu, Jung Chang,
Elena Bonner, Vladimir Bukovsky, Elie Wiesel,
Václav Havel, Greg Mortenson, Armando Valladares,
Ramón J. Velásquez, Leyla Zana, Leopoldo Lopez,
Emil Constantinescu and Vytautas Landsbergis.

Chungdak Koren, +47 95 024 443
Palden Gyatso & Dechen Pemba: +47 23 21 20 00

For more information about the Oslo Freedom Forum visit:
Den norske Tibet Komité(Norwegian Tibet Committee)
Tordenskioldsgt  6b
0160 Oslo
Tel: 22479222 Fax: 22479201
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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