(TibetanReview.net, Aug22, 2014) –Mr Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, an Italian constitutional lawyer and South African Member of Parliament, who in 2012 successfully sued his government for denying visa to the Dalai Lama due to pressure from China has died on Aug 16, aged 53. He died after a protracted and courageous struggle against cancer.
Mr Oriani-Ambrosini, an MP for the Inkatha Freedom Party, was part of the International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet (INPaT), an action group established and mandated at the Fifth World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet in Rome in 2009. The network was co-chaired by Mr Matteo Mecacci who is currently the President of International
Campaign for Tibet, Washington, DC.
Mr Mario Oriani-Ambrosini was an outspoken defender of human rights and democracy. He studied law in Rome and later at Harvard University and Georgetown University Law Center. He Became Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s constitutional expert during pre-democracy negotiations and in 2009 became an IFP MP.
IFP chief Buthelezi paid a moving tribute to the late MP, saying: “We have been flooded with tributes to a man who clearly made a deep impression on many lives. From citizens who appreciated his fight on their behalf against the Secrecy Bill, to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on behalf of the Tibetan people; from service officers in Parliament, to Ambassadors, journalists, students and lovers of freedom everywhere; tributes and words of thanks have abounded for the good Doctor.
“… Let us remember that he was the main engine behind the recurring actions to vindicate the wrongful denial of a visa to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which brought to Parliament many members’ statement and the Torch of Freedom. ”
Chief Buthelezi also remembered him as a founding member of the Parliamentary Institute of South Africa.