DHARAMSALA, 8 May: While Botswana has cowed to China, the country’s former president Ian Khama has urged for united efforts from lawmakers from across the democratic world attending the 7th World Parliamentarians Convention on Tibet.
“Just as the progressive world united to end apartheid in South Africa, the Former President appeals for united efforts to support the objectives of the Central Tibet Administration and the Tibetan people they represent,” the statement issued by Khama’s office said on Tuesday.
Former Botswana President Ian Khama issued the statement to convey his regards to the 7th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet which is being held in Riga, Latvia from 7-10 May.
Though the government of Botswana fearing backlash from China has rejected a request from Serêtsê Khama Ian Khama who served as the fourth President of country from 1, April 2008, to 1 April 2018, to visit Dharamsala, the exile headquarter of the Tibetan people, to take part in the Tibetan people’s 60th National Uprising Day, he made the trip and joined thousands of Tibetans and supporters at Dharamsala to observe the 60th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising day earlier this year.
The government of Botswana, the landlocked country in Southern Africa has later issued a directive to its citizens to respect the way it relates with other countries, adding that it subscribes to One-China Policy and expects its citizens to toe the line as well.
The former president, while in office, unlike the current government, his administration stood against China’s intimidation and confirmed that they will receive the Dalai Lama in August 2017 as a ‘foreign dignitary’ despite Chinese objection.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has to later cancel the trip to Botswana due to exhaustion and on his physicians advise against undertaking long journeys.
The World Parliamentary Convention on Tibet is held after indeterminate gaps of several years, the first was held in New Delhi in 1994 and the last was held in Ottawa, Canada in 2012.
Lawmakers from across the democratic world supportive of the Tibet issue will gather in Riga, Latvia for the 7th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet to reinvigorate and galvanize global support for Tibet through concerted efforts and deliberations on the parliamentary front.
The meet, now underway in Riga, Latvia was originally scheduled to be held in New Delhi over 26-28, Apr but had to be postponed due to “unforeseen circumstances” before it was rescheduled.