Objectives of holding the World Parliamentarians
Parliamentary Support and achievements:
Since the occupation of Tibet by People’s Republic of China, a number of Parliamentarians have taken immense interest in and expressed sympathy for the cause of the Tibetan people. Particularly, following the brutal crackdown on the peaceful public demonstrations, which rocked the Tibetan capital Lhasa, leading to Martial Law in Tibet in the late 80’s, the interest and sympathies galvanized into active support with the formation of parliamentary groups for Tibet in many countries. The parliamentarians mobilized their actions for the cause of Tibet in their respective countries, which resulted in the introduction of bills and resolutions, organizing parliamentary hearings on Tibet and sensitizing the public to the issue of Tibet.
After His Holiness the Dalai Lama presented the Strasbourg Proposal in 1988 for a meaningful resolution to the Issue of Tibet, 69 parliamentarians from 25 countries met for the first time in New Delhi from 18 to 20 March 1994. Under the aegis of Mr. George Fernandes and Mr. Mohan Singh, the All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet organized the World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet (WPCT). The Convention adopted a ten-point action plan, which called on parliamentarians to prevail upon their governments on the issue of Tibet and the rights of its people, to form all party parliamentary groups for Tibet in their respective parliaments and to create an international network of parliamentarians to co-ordinate activities on the Tibetan Issue.
As offered by Dr. Laima Andrikiene, the Lithuanian Parliamentary Group for Tibet hosted the second WPCT in Vilnius, Lithuania from 26 to 28 May 1995, which was attended by 88 parliamentarians from 21 countries. The convention, while reaffirming its support for the New Delhi resolution called on governments to support the efforts of the Tibetan people and their legitimate representatives – His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile – to restore the rights of the Tibetan people through a peaceful exercise of the right to self-determination. The convention resolved to initiate investigations, hearings and inquiries on the legitimacy of China’s claim that Tibet is a part of Peoples Republic of China, in every parliament represented at the convention, and to persuade members of other parliaments to do the same, as a prelude to according recognition to the Tibetan Government in Exile.
The third WPCT was hosted by the US House International Relations Committee and the Congress under the leadership of Senator Jesse Helms and Rep. Benjamin A Gilman on April 23 and 24, 1997 in Washington DC. 63 members attended this convention from 27 countries. The convention supported the earnest negotiations without preconditions between the Tibetan Government in Exile and the People’s Republic of China. The convention reaffirmed its support to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s repeated statement that despite the historical reality of Tibet’s sovereignty, he is prepared to hold negotiations on genuine self-government, the demilitarization and transformation of Tibet into a zone of Ahimsa (peace and nonviolence), without seeking independence.
The fourth WPCT was co-hosted by Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Tibet and UK All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet from 18-19 November 2005 at Edinburgh, Scotland. 58 members of parliament attended this convention from 22 countries.
- The convention called on the government of the PRC to demonstrate its sincerity and seriousness in finding a negotiated solution to the question of Tibet by arranging to meet with the Dalai Lama’s representatives much more frequently and to start engaging in substantive negotiations with them, without preconditions and without further delay.
- It urged the Chinese government to indicate commitment to the negotiation process by making visible improvements in its policies in Tibet, in particularly
- to take effective measures to ensure full respect for the human rights of the Tibetan people;
- to halt the implementation of the ‘Western Development’ program in Tibet until a proper and credible assessment has been made of its impact on the lives of the Tibetan people, their culture, language, spiritual traditions as well as natural environment to the satisfaction of the Tibetan people;
- to take immediate steps to halt the population transfer of Chinese into Tibet, which is transforming the indigenous population into a minority in their own land;
- to release the Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, and all the other Tibetan political prisoners unconditionally;
- to cease the virulent attacks on the Dalai Lama, which cast serious doubt on the sincerity of the Chinese government in negotiating with his representatives.
- Stressed the importance of worldwide parliamentary support for Tibet and decides to undertake activities to strengthen the role of parliaments and parliamentarians in this respect
Called on the EU to appoint a special representative for Tibet to promote, provide assistance for and to follow negotiations between the PRC and the Tibetans, in accordance with the express demands of the European Parliament.