DHARAMSALA, Mar 10: It is in China’s interest to give real genuine autonomy to the Tibetan people which is compatible with Chinese law, said Ms Claudia Roth, Vice-President of the German Parliament (Bundestag) at a press conference held on Feb 9 at the heads quarters of the Central Tibetan Administration here in Dharamsala.
Ms Roth is in Dharamsala to attend the 56th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising as Chief Guest on Mar 10.
Addressing the press conference, Ms Roth who had met His Holiness the Dalai Lama 25 years ago as the President of Green Group in European Parliament said:
“I am incredibly happy to be here. I come here as a good friend of Tibet to share your problem, your sorrow, your tears and your smiles. I first met His Holiness the Dalai Lama 25 years ago when I was the President of the Green group in the European Parliament. And since then, we have been good friends.”
Ms Roth also stated that it is important to keep history alive to build a better future.
“I am proud to be here to speak on this important occasion. It is a day of remembrance of the Tibetan uprising in 1959. We, as Germans, know it is important not to forget and to keep history alive. History is the basis to build a better future,” she said.
“A very good friend of mine told me years ago, ‘don’t forget, forgetting would kill’. So, I think it is our duty as a human being not to forget the Tibet issue. If we forget, the culture and the wealth of the people would disappear and it would not survive,” she added.
“Our basis of living together is dignity of human beings. Dignity belongs to every human being irrespective of sex, religion or race. Every nation should respect human rights to guarantee stability and peace,” she further added.
Asked by a German reporter what other governments can learn from the Central Tibetan Administration which functions as a government of the Tibetan people without territory, she replied:
“Patience of the CTA; its peaceful and non-violent way of engaging with China…wanting autonomy but still respecting the laws of China and insisting that language, religion and culture of Tibet be preserved.”
Ms Roth said real problem for Tibet, China, India and the whole region is the environmental destruction in Tibet.
“Water is vital for the survival of human beings and Tibet being one of the largest reservoir s of water, we will press on these issues on international forums and in our cooperation with China,” she said.
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, in his address thanked Ms Roth for accepting the invitation extended to her in Hamburg last year be the chief guest at the 56th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day.
“I thank her on behalf of all the Tibetans, including those inside Tibet, to have come here. We are grateful that a person of such stature travelled all the way from Germany to Dharamshala to show her support and solidarity,” Sikyong Sangay said.
“Your presence here sends a strong message of hope to us that despite the repression and suppression, there are friends, especially friends who matter, who take the trouble to be with the Tibetan people in our hour of need,” Sikyong added.