His Holiness the Dalai Lama together with parliamentarians from all over the world at the 6th World Parliamentary Convention on Tibet in Ottawa, April 2012. (Photo/ INPaT)
DHARAMSHALA, June 8: In an open call for solidarity with Tibet, an international group of parliamentarians today called upon lawmakers all over the world to observe June 20 as “Parliamentary Solidarity Day for Tibet.”
The International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet, a global network of democratically elected representatives of the people, is initiating the campaign.
“In view of the human rights crisis faced by the Tibetan people, the International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet calls on parliamentarians worldwide to observe a “Parliamentary Solidarity Day for Tibet” on 20 June, 2012,” the group said in a release.
“INPaT calls on all democratic parliamentarians to utilize the opportunities offered in their respective countries by parliamentary procedures and political praxis to highlight the plight of the people of Tibet,” the release said. “This may include raising points of order, asking questions to government, proposing interpolations, making member’s statements, proposing motions with or without notice, and delivering speeches.”
The group also invited “all freedom-aspiring” parliamentarians to wear the traditional Tibetan white scarf ‘Khatak’ as a symbol of solidarity with the people of Tibet and hold press conferences on the day.
“INPaT calls on all parliamentarians to hold a media conference on June 20, 2012 to highlight within their country the global dimension of this parliamentarian mobilisation on Tibet through various initiatives planned,” the group said.
Since 2009, 38 Tibetans inside Tibet have set their bodies on fire demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet. In the latest incidents of the ongoing fiery protests inside Tibet, two Tibetans, Dorjee Tseten, 19, and Dargye, 25, set themselves on fire in front of one of Tibet’s holiest shrines, the Jokhang Temple in the heart of Tibet’s capital Lhasa. Days later, a mother of three young children, Rikyo, set herself ablaze in Zamthang, eastern Tibet.
Earlier this week, Chinese authorities, for the second time this year, closed Tibet to the outside world, following what Amnesty International has called a “massive crackdown” on Tibetans in Lhasa.
Tibet’s capital is being described as an “armed camp” with the deployment of over 3,000 troops. According to reports, in less than 24 hours, nearly 30,000 people and 12,000 vehicles were searched in Lhasa alone.
The Central Tibetan Administration has blasted China for its actions, stating that “stifling” Tibetan with force will not end Tibet’s “deepening crisis.”
“Closing Tibet’s door to the outside world and stifling the voices of Tibetans through force will not bring an end to the deepening crisis in Tibet. Instead, the Chinese leadership must address the root causes of Tibetan grievances through dialogue,” Kalon Dicki Chhoyang of the Department of Information and International Relations, CTA said in a release today.
INPaT has urged parliamentarians to call on China to end its crackdown after the self-immolations in Tibet and table motions of remembrance for the 38 people who have self-immolated inside Tibet.
The Network has also urged lawmakers to call on their respective governments to include human rights protection in all bilateral and multilateral discussions with China and to raise concerns over the “chronic human rights violations in Tibet” at the 20th session of UN Human Rights Council which meets in Geneva on June 18.