By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, Oct 10: A group of Taiwanese legislators have launched a Taiwan Parliamentary Group for Tibet and avowed to abolish the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission.
Following a visit to Dharamsala in September by a 10-member delegation of Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan (HRNTT), a group of 30 Taiwanese legislators have formed Taiwan Parliamentary Group for Tibet with New Power Party legislator Freddy Lim at the helm.
Dawa Tsering, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Office of Tibet based in Taipei, was the Chief Guest at the launch ceremony held on Oct 7. Tibetan Parliamentarians, Lobsang Dakpa and Tsering Lhamo aslo attended the event.
The new caucus has prioritized to obliterate the existing Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission, a vestige of the Republic of China’s claim to sovereignty over Mongolia and Tibet, and push for a refugee act supporting Tibetans living in Taiwan.
“We will focus on substantial legislation first, with some complementary symbolic work, the group would prioritize abolishing the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission and push for a refugee act,” taipeitimes.com quoted Lim as saying in its report, Oct 8.
“As Tibetan human rights have degenerated in recent years and many people have self-immolated, the commission has not done anything — no events or actions whatsoever and not a penny of money for the cause of Tibetan human rights,” Tashi Tsering, a Tibetan leader of the Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan, who called the commission ‘useless’, was quoted as saying in the report.
“They use the banner of Tibet to take a lot of money from Taiwanese taxpayers, but we have no idea how they spend it,” the report further quoted Tashi as saying.
The parliamentary group for Tibet boasts cross-caucus membership from NPP legislators with Wang Jin-pyng as the lone legislator from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).