(TibetanReview.net, May14’19) – A total of 25 lawmakers from some 13 countries have concluded on May 10 in Latvia’s capital Riga their seventh conference on Tibet since 1994, calling on China to end the repression in the Himalayan territory and open it up, protect the region’s natural environment and hold unconditional talk with envoys of the Dalai Lama.
The four-day 7th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet was organized by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile in association with Latvian Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet and International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet. About 100 people, including 25 Members of Parliament from Australia, New Zealand, France, Romania, Canada, Czech Republic, Lithuania, India, Nepal, Chile, Latvia, UK, and Scotland, took part in the event.
The ‘Riga Declaration’ is seen to reaffirm that Tibet was always an independent country before China annexed it 60 years or so ago; to express solidarity with the Tibetan people’s non-violent struggle, to deplore the ongoing decimation of Tibet’s identity through assaults on Tibetan culture, language, religious practice and way of life, as well as the continued Chinese immigration; and to express concern about the environmental degradation on the Tibetan Plateau due to excessive resource extraction and dam construction as well as the accumulation of waste and dumping of toxic waste.
The declaration is also seen to express concern at the dire situation of nomads in Tibet who had been forcibly resettled into new towns and remain deprived of the basic necessities of life; to refer to the 153 Tibetans who have set fire to themselves in protest against Chinese rule in Tibet; and to express concern at the increasing security measures taken there to curtail the freedom of expression, religion and movement of the Tibetans.
The declaration is seen to reaffirm support for the CTA’s Middle Way Approach as the most viable approach to peacefully resolve the Sino-Tibetan conflict.
It is seen to condemn China’s political interference in the Tibetan Buddhist practice of identifying and recognising the reincarnation of Dalai Lamas and Tulkus.
The declaration is seen to call on the international community to challenge and impede the Chinese Government’s use of sharp power to manipulate and divide societies and its abuse of cyber space.
And it is seen to urge parliaments and governments “to receive leaders and other representatives of the Central Tibetan Administration to discuss all issues pertaining to improving the situation in Tibet and resolving the Sino-Tibetan conflict” and to call on China to “resume the dialogue with envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama without preconditions.”
The Riga convention was stated to have been held “to garner more support from Parliamentarians of different countries and to assess the possible ways to resolve the Tibet issue through dialogue with the representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese leaders.”