9th International Tibet Support Conference Concludes in Brussels

By Tsering Choephel

A group photo of the attendees of the 9th International Conference of Tibet Support Group (TSG) held in Brussels, Belgium over 23-25 February. Image: Tibet.net.

DHARAMSALA, 26 Feb: The 9th International Conference of Tibet Support Group (TSG) concluded its three-day session held in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, on 25 February. Organised by the Tibet Interest Group from the European Parliament in partnership with the Belgium-based International Campaign for Tibet and facilitated by the Office of Tibet-Brussels and the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), over 170 members of TSG from 44 countries as well as heads of CTA attended the conference.

Minister of DIIR Norzin Dolma expressed gratitude to all attendees and supporters for their solidarity with the Tibetan people and the cause of Tibet. She stated that the conference would help formulate and develop coordinated and action-oriented strategies to solve the Sino-Tibet conflict through dialogue as per the Middle Way Policy. She hoped that the conference outcome would help strengthen the movement and advocacy to restore the lost dignity and human rights in Tibet.

A message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama was read out, in which he highlighted the strength and unwavering faith and aspiration of the Tibetans living in Tibet despite the immense difficulties they have endured. He expressed trust in the continued support from friends and Tibet supporters for CTA in achieving its aspirations based on the Tibetan people.

CTA’s President Penpa Tsering, in his keynote speech during the opening ceremony, emphasised the transfer of the Tibetan freedom struggle’s responsibility to the younger generation. “There are many young Tibetans who have taken over the leadership of Tibetan associations. There are various associations represented in this conference, and most of their presidents are present. The Voluntary Tibet Advocacy Group (V-TAG) has also been established to provide a platform for all Tibetans, especially for the younger generation, to take on leadership roles,” he said.

Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE), during his closing ceremony speech, highlighted the need to address Tibet’s issue beyond mere politics. He stressed that it is crucial for the international community to view the Tibet-China conflict as an international issue rather than as China’s internal matter, as Beijing always asserts. Moreover, he called on decision-makers and policymakers to comply with international law and avoid endorsing China’s false claim of sovereignty over Tibet in any way. “Apart from the routine operations of the legislative body, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile has programs to reach out to international and Indian parliament members and the general public in India through state advocacy campaigns,” he said.

Senator Jacqueline Eustache-Brinio, who also serves as the President of the French International Information Group on Tibet, condemned China’s continued suppression of Tibet’s religious, linguistic, and cultural identity. She called on every political institution, NGO, as well as public figures to speak out for Tibet’s plight, regardless of economic interest. She pledged that as a senator, she would continue to be a voice for the Tibetan prisoners in Tibet under China as well as for Tibetan asylum seekers in France.

Minister of DIIR Norzin Dolma, acknowledging the 9th conference as a symbol of the continued relevance of Tibet’s cause, said, “This cause has been primarily shaped by the spirit and commitment of His Holiness Dalai Lama to compassion, nonviolence, dialogue, and reconciliation

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