8th International Conference of Tibet Support Groups concludes

DHARAMSALA, 6 Nov: The 8th International Conference of Tibet Support Groups, held in collaboration with the Core Group for the Tibetan Cause, India and the Central Tibetan Administration’s(CTA) Department of Information and International Relations concluded on Tuesday with renewed commitment to press on until the struggle for Tibetan freedom is resolved.

The goal of the conference, the organisers maintained was to bring together the supporters of the Tibetan cause to deliberate on galvanising global Tibet advocacy and it described the struggle for Tibetan freedom as a struggle for justice, truth, and freedom and stated in its declaration that “We are committed to continuing the work until the conflict is resolved to the satisfaction of the Tibetan people. As long as the Tibetan people remains under alien occupation, subjugation and exploitation, and is therefore denied the exercise of its right to self-determination, the Tibetan struggle for freedom and justice is everyone’s struggle for freedom and justice.”

“Just as we call for solidarity with the people of Tibet, so too we express solidarity with all who suffer under the PRC’s repressive policies, indeed, all other peoples deprived of their freedom, for no one can be truly free so long as others are oppressed,” it added.

At the conference, over 180 politicians, intellectuals, and activists from 42 countries across the world have collectively echoed grave concern over the deteriorating situation inside Tibet caused by the illegal invasion of Tibet by the People’s Republic of China and further called on China to resume the stalled Sino-Tibetan dialogue to amicably resolve the Tibetan issue.

So far, nine rounds of talks were held between the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and representatives of China’s United Front Work Department since 2002.

The ninth and the last round of talks was held in 2010 and in 2012, the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama resigned from their positions citing overall deteriorating situation inside Tibet and “lack of willingness and sincerity” from the Chinese side.

The Conference also urged the UN and the members of the international community to persuade the Chinese government for the same.

The participants of the conference had an audience with the  Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Monday morning, following which they concurred that they were greatly encouraged by his four commitments which they said: “reflects his altruistic vision for the future.”

The conference also recognised the Tibetan people and its culture’s profound contribution to human development and declared that “support for the Tibetan cause is support for humanity as a whole.”

The delegates also held an in-depth discussion on the issue of HIs Holiness the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation and concluded that all decisions regarding the reincarnation of the 14th Dalai Lama are the exclusive responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his Gaden Phodrang Trust.

“Any interference in this process by the PRC authorities and any attempt at selecting or appointing a Dalai Lama by the Chinese government will have no legitimacy and should be condemned and subjected to sanctions by the international community,”  it declared.

The global ecological importance of the Tibetan Plateau was also highlighted at the conference where it declared the need to make Tibet central to any discussion on global climate change.

“Given the critical role of the Tibetan Plateau, as the Third Pole, in global climate change, we commit to insert Tibet, which is at the frontline of the climate crisis, into the debate of this most urgent issue of our time,” the declaration added.

The conference held over 3-5 Nov. also outlined 8 priority Action Plans along with a series of recommendations to be effectively considered and implemented by governments.

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