His Holiness' envoy urges EU's Van Rompuy to speak out on Tibet

Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen (left) with Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari in Dharamsala

DHARAMSHALA: His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen has urged the EU Council head Mr Herman Van Rompuy to speak out on the repression in Tibet during his visit to China.Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen told EUobserver in Brussels that Phuntsog, the 21-year-old monk of Kirti Monastery, who set himself on fire in March, must have felt deeply disturbed as it is against Buddhist teaching to take any form of life.

After Phuntsog set himself on fire, the Chinese police beat him which was one of the causes of his tragic death.
"In Buddhism, the most important factor is motivation. If someone takes his own life in order to draw attention to the problems of other Tibetans, because they feel that there is nothing else they can do, because of this motivation the act is not considered an act of violence," he said. 

Speaking on the eve of Van Rompuy's visit to Beijing, envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen urged the top EU official to confront China on human rights just as the US did earlier this week.

He said Van Rompuy should ask to send an EU delegation to visit Ngaba, seek assurances of better day-today treatment of Tibetans and urge Beijing to resume bilateral talks with the Central Tibetan Administration.

"If the Chinese side does not show any positive signs, if it brushes off the concern expressed by the EU, he should make public the EU's disappointment and criticise the despicable situation in Tibet," envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen noted. "if the EU does not take this opportunity, it will send a very bad signal to hardliners in China that they can continue to abuse the rights of Tibetan people with impunity from the international community."

Van Rompuy’s spokesman Dirk De Backer declined to give details when asked if Mr Rompuy will discuss Tibet this weekend, although he confirmed that Mr Rompuy will speak on human rights.

Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen noted that China seeks international respectability, pointing to its effort in staging the 2008 Olympics and its hostile reaction to the 2010 Nobel laureate.

He said, “people in former Communist countries understand the situation in Tibet because they remember their own experience in western Europe, the general public has a lot of information about Tibet and they extend their support to the just cause of Tibetan struggle.”

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