Dharamsala: Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) in close association with Latvian Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet and International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet (INPaT) commenced four days program of 7th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet (WPCT) in Riga, Latvia from 7-10 May, 2019.
The convention was attended by about 100 participants including 25 Members of Parliament from Australia, New Zealand, France, Romania, Canada, Czech Republic, Lithuania, India, Nepal, Chile, Latvia, UK and Scotland.
Sikyong of Central Tibetan Administration(CTA), Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile along with Tibetan Parliamentarians, Representatives of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama from the offices of Tibet of North America, Belgium, Australia, UK, Geneva and France, Director of International Tibet Network, President and Asia Program Officer of NED, President of Freedom House, Executive Director of ICT Germany, Executive Director of ICT Europe, President of ICT Washington DC, Advocacy and Communications Director of ICT Europe, EU Policy Director of ICT Europe, President, Kreddha and Professor of International Law etc participated in the convention.
On 7 May 2019, Latvian Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet hosted a dinner reception followed by welcome address by Hon. Uldis Budrikis, Vice Chairman of Latvian Parliamentary support group for Tibet and cultural performances by Latvian Cultural Group at the Restaurant of Hotel Bellevue in Riga, Latvia.
The Inaugural Session started on 9:30 AM of 8 May 2019, with welcome and introduction by Honorable Uldis Budrikis, Vice Chairman of Latvian Parliamentary support group Tibet. Followed by address by Honarable Pema Jungney, Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and Video message from Hon. Jim Mcgovern, Member of the United States House of Representatives, and Statement from Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
It continued with Video message from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, key note address by Chief Guest Hon. Andris Buikis, and vote of thanks by Convention coordinator Mr. Janis Martin Skuja, Chief of Society “Latvian for Tibet”. The session’s Master of ceremony was Professor Toufic Kawar.
The briefing Session was chaired by Hon. Pradeep Tamta and Hon. Ripun Bora MPs from India and Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Sikyong of CTA addresses the session.
The second day of the convention continued with panel session chaired by Prof. Michael Van Walt Praag, President, Kreddha and professor of International Relations and International Law; ‘Framing the issues of Tibet’. Followed by talk from Dr. Munin Chen, Vice President for International Affair, National Chung Hsing University and Professor at Graduate Institute of International Policies, Taichung, Taiwan on ‘China-Tibet History’ and Mr. Tempa Gyaltsen, Head of Environment and Development Desk, Tibet Policy Institute, CTA ‘s talk on ‘ The Tibetan Plateau and its current Environment Situation’. Finally, Prof. Srikanth Kondapalli, Chairman and professor in Chinese Studies Centre for East Asian Studies, JNU gave talk on ‘Asia and specially, India’s role on Tibet’s issue’ through skype.
Finally, the briefing session was chaired by Hon. Michael Danby, Member of Australian Parliament and Hon. Parliamentarians took active participation by sharing views and suggestions.
The last six World Parliamentarians’ Conventions on Tibet were held in Delhi, India (1994), Vilnius, Lithuania (1995), Washington D.C. USA (1997), Edinburg, Scotland (2005), Rome, Italy (2009) and Ottawa, Canada (2012).
The convention in Riga is to garner more support from Parliamentarians of different countries and to assess the possible impact to resolve the Tibet issue through dialogue with the representatives of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and Chinese leaders.