Democracy best way to achieve Tibetans’ aspiration, say MPs

Dharamsala, March 21 (IANS) A group of visiting foreign parliamentarians on Monday hailed the Tibetans in exile for embracing democracy and said this was the best way to achieve the aspirations of a better future for them.

“We are pleased to see how Tibetans all over the free world have once again strongly embraced democracy as the best way to achieve the aspirations of a better future for the Tibetan people, which unfortunately continues to be denied to six million Tibetans in Tibet,” the International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet (INPaT) said.

Tibetan exiles across the world on Sunday voted to elect their new ‘Sikyong’ or prime minister as well as members of parliament-in-exile based here in this northern Indian hill town.

Polling took place in 85 places around the world. A foreign delegation comprising members of the European Parliament, who are part of INPaT, was here as part of the Tibetan election observers mission.

The results will be declared on April 27.

“We wish to praise the Tibetan people for their commitment and enthusiasm in participating both in the campaign and in the voting process,” it said in a statement here.

Supporting the cause of Tibet, they said: “Voting in these elections, Tibetans in exile are reaffirming their support for a political solution, while the Chinese government continues to impose severe authoritarian policies, which undermine the very existence of Tibetan identity.”

Expressing gratitude to the Indian government, it said the generous hospitality it provided to the Tibetan people enabling them to preserve and promote their culture and way of life.

The delegation comprised European Parliament member Thomas Mann, French Senator Andre Gattolin and Australian Senator Lisa Singh.

The 80-year-old Dalai Lama, the global face of the Tibetan exile movement, lives in exile in this northern Indian hill town along with his followers.

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