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Thubten Samdup, Special Envoy of the Central Tibetan Administration and of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has just visited Estonia where he participated in a conference on Tibet and gave an overview of the positions of the Tibetan exile government, the Tibet Support Group of the Riigikogu express their growing concern.

“The Tibet Support Group observes with a growing concern the repopulation of Tibet and suppression of the local culture by Chinese authorities. It is especially sad that self-immolation has become an increasingly widespread form of protest, as a result of which more than eighty people have perished already,” the Chairman of the Tibet Support Group of the Riigikogu Andres Herkel said.

„The key to the Tibet question is in the hands of the authorities of the People’s Republic of China. In order to normalise the situation, it is necessary to guarantee the autonomy of Tibet, free all political prisoners, observe the basic human rights norms and open up access for international observers – in the first place for human rights organisations, journalists and parliamentarians of other countries,” Herkel said.

“We consider it important that the gravity of the Tibet question has received attention in many national parliaments and in the European Parliament, and Navanethem Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has also sharply drawn attention to this problem,” Herkel added.

“For years, the People’s Republic of China has tried to swim upstream by denying the existence of problems and influencing the politicians of other countries by force to stay away from meetings with representatives of the Tibetan exile administration and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Even if they occasionally submit to such pressure, this will not make anyone adopt a better attitude towards the People’s Republic of China or its policy. In a long-term perspective, such approach is fruitless because the world will find it difficult to trust such a partner. Hopefully China’s renewed leadership will soon begin to understand this,” Herkel noted.

In his speeches, Thubten Samdup called to support Tibet’s aspirations, also at parliamentary and government level. He pointed out that the Dalai Lama personally has thousands of friends, also among politicians, but when it comes to actually supporting Tibet and exerting pressure on China in the Tibet question, then this awaited support is not there.

Thubten Samdup reiterated the position stated earlier by the Dalai Lama that the Tibetan exile government does not aim to split China but to achieve autonomy for Tibet in the framework of which Tibetans would be able to organise their life themselves and, among other things, to receive education in their mother tongue which is impossible at present.

Special Envoy of the Central Tibetan Administration was in Estonia in connection with the conference on Tibet that was held on Monday (26 November 2012). Thubten Samdup also met the members of the Tibet Support Group of the Riigikogu.

The Tibet Support Group of the Riigikogu