Europe Tibetan Associations hold Third General Meeting in Milan (Italy), which concluded successfully
Milan: Monday, 3rd October 2022: Europe Tibetan Associations held their third general meeting in Milan, Italy from 01 October to 02 October. The meeting was facilitated by the Tibet Bureau in Geneva in close coordination with the Europe members of Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Offices of Tibet in London, Brussels, Paris’ coordinator office and Tibetan Community in Italy. It was held at Ghe Pel ling Tibetan Buddhist Center based in Milan, Italy.
Over 27 representatives comprising presidents, vice presidents and executive members from nine Tibetan associations and communities based in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland & Liechtenstein and the United Kingdom took part in the meeting.
The special guest DIIR Kalon Norzin Dolma presided over the inauguration of the meeting. In her address, Kalon Norzin Dolma said the support and solidarity for Tibet from the western governments and people are all because of His Holiness Dalai Lama’s wisdom and leadership. Because of which, the agenda of Tibet is alive, added Kalon.
Emphasising the importance of preservation of Tibetan culture and language, Kalon Norzin said it is crucial to facilitate and nurture Tibetan youth (future seeds of Tibet) in such a way that would build the capacity and bring every single Tibetan closer to the Tibetan freedom movement with firm understanding of Tibetan culture, language and situation in Tibet. Referring to the Tibet advocacy at the Europe Union level and in respective national level, Kalon Norzin said “collective and coordinated” efforts are key in advancing the Tibet advocacy. She further stressed the critical role of Tibetan communities, associations and individual Tibetans to take cordial relations with the government and people of the host country.
Representative Thinlay Chukki welcomed the meeting attendees and briefly walked through the meeting agenda including the significance of holding the meeting in Italy.
The two-day meeting was designed to deliberate and discuss five dedicated agendas. The sessions were chaired by Europe Member of Tibetan Parliament in Exile Ven Thubten Wangchen and Thupten Gyatso, Tibet Bureau Geneva’s Representative Thinlay Chukki, Office of Tibet London Representative Sonam Frasi and Office of Tibet Brussels Representative Genkhang Rinzin Choedon.
Commending the democratic values and virtues embraced by the Exile Tibetan community, a group of friends of Tibet observed the proceedings of the meeting. The observers and guests of the meeting include executive members of Italy-Tibet Association Claudio Cardelli; Nanni Ribaldone; President of AREF International Marilla Bellaterra; President of ADHI Nicola Missiani; President of Union Buddhist Associations in Italy Filippo Sciana; Michela; Carmen Leccardi; Giancarlo Giorgetti Morandi and Manuela Morandi.
The two –day General Meeting of the Europe Tibetan Association concluded successfully on 02 October 2022. The representatives of the Tibetan Communities and Associations from over nine European countries discussed and deliberated on various agenda including the coordinated efforts for protection of Tibetan culture, language and identity; advancing Tibet advocacy and voicing for Tibetan voices suppressed in Tibet by China.
In view of the deplorable situation in Tibet under the occupation of China, the attendees adopted a declaration titled “Milano Declaration”, whereby the attendees undersigned to create more awareness about the worsening situation in Tibet and strengthen the mobilization and advocacy for Tibet within the respective country.
The chief guest of the meeting DIIR Kalon Norzin Dolma acknowledged and appreciated all the attendees of the meeting and stressed the importance of the Tibetan community’s continued contribution in advancing the Tibetan freedom movement.
The original text of the declaration is as follows:
THIRD EUROPE TIBETAN COMMUNITIES GENERAL MEETING
1-2 OCTOBER 2022
WE, the Presidents, Vice-Presidents and/or Representatives of Tibetan Communities across Europe having hereby assembled for the third General Meeting of the Tibetan communities held in Milano, Italy from 1 to 2 October 2022,
ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED about the colonial-style boarding school system being implemented by the Chinese government in Tibet. Almost a million Tibetan children including some as young as four years old, are forcibly separated from their parents and sent to “boarding schools” where they are taught in Chinese language and are subjected to “patriotic education” aimed at total Sinicization of Tibetan language, culture as well as identity leading to annihilation of the centuries-old Tibetan civilization;
ARE APPALLED by the recent videos and reports emerging from Tibet where the Chinese government in the garb of Zero-Covid Policy is forcefully detaining Tibetans in “quarantine centres” irrespective of their testing covid-positive/negative, are being fed rotten food and are being deprived of basic amenities which have even forced a few Tibetans to suicide, evidencing the total repression of Tibetans in Tibet;
ARE ALARMED by the reports of mass DNA collection of over 1 million Tibetans including men, women, children and specially targeting Buddhist monks between June 2016 and July 2022 by the Chinese government as part of high-tech surveillance mechanism to perpetuate suppression of Tibetans in Tibet.
WE, therefore, UNEQUIVOCALLY CONDEMN the acts of repression by the Chinese government against the Tibetans and
CALL UPON the Chinese Government to STOP WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT the colonial-style boarding schools, repression through Zero-Covid Policy and the mass DNA collection of Tibetans;
CALL UPON the Chinese Government to respect and implement its own constitutional provisions and international obligations guaranteeing social, cultural and economic rights including right to language, religious freedom, autonomy to the Tibetan people;
CALL UPON the International Community including the national governments of the European countries, parliamentarians, the European Union as well as the United Nations to press China to STOP WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT the above acts of crimes against humanity being perpetuated by the Chinese government and to press the government to comply with its international obligations;
And thereby WE UNDERTAKE to create awareness about the worsening situation in Tibet especially on the above three critical matters of concern within our jurisdictions as well as advocate and mobilise support for Tibet;
AND HEREBY SO DECLARED.
–Report filed by the Tibet Bureau
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