(TibetanReview.net, Apr17, 2018) – Civic Democrat (ODS) deputy Marek Benda has said he was planning to establish an unofficial group of Tibet’s friends in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Czech parliament, reported praguemonitor.com Apr 16, citing the daily Pravo Apr 13. It will be unofficial because an official group could be established only with regard to a country recognized by the Czech Republic, the report said.
The report said the group will focus on human rights issues and organize meetings of the Tibetan government-in-exile with Czech lawmakers.
Previous such groups had been set up by the Greens deputy Katerina Jacques between 2006 and 2010 and the new group will follow up on it, the report said.
“Tibetans are poor people, they are culturally oppressed and it is good that someone should pay attention to this without saying that they should be separated from China, while they themselves do not want this,” Benda was quoted as saying, apparently referring to the exile government’s middle say policy of seeking autonomy, not independence, for Tibet.
Benda has made it clear that the group will work only unofficially, since official groups of friends could only exist with the countries the Czehh Republic recognizes.
“It may be a group of deputies or senators who have a hearty relationship with Tibet and its people,” he has added.
He has said the group will cooperate with non-governmental organisations that are active in human rights issues, receive visits by the Tibetan government-in-exile and react publicly to information on what is going on in Tibet.
The report said Benda had already held talks on the participation in the group with some deputies for the Pirates and former foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg, honorary chairman of TOP 09.