Tibet: Issue Supported by Latvian MPs
Dharamshala: The Latvian Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet sent a letter to support the democratic process in China and to express their concern for the crackdown on the Drepung Monastery in Lhasa on 16 December.
The letter was signed by all the MPs of the group and forwarded to Mr. Li Zhaoxing, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Guangya Wang, China's Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Wu Bangguo, President of the National People's Congress of the Chinese People's Republic, Mr. Zhang Fusen, Minister of Justice and Mr. Zhang Limin, Ambassador of China in Latvia.
The group urged the Chinese government to release the five arrested monks and to resolve this controversial issue by means of humane, lawful and peaceful dialogue.
Following is the full text of letter sent by the Latvian Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet:
Support of the democratic process in China
On 18-19 November 2005 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the IVth World Parliamentarian's Convention on Tibet was held. A total of 133 delegates from 30 parliaments, including delegates from Latvia, participated, and they adopted The Edinburgh Declaration, which commends the government of China for beginning high-level meetings with representatives of the Tibetan government in exile the special envoys of the Dalai Lama?which is a significant, encouraging and necessary step in resolving the issue of Tibet.
Shortly thereafter, however at the beginning of December the world learned about alarming events in Tibetan monasteries in which officials of the Chinese government conducted a forced patriotic education campaign, ordering the monks to sign documents denouncing the Dalai Lama as a "separatist" and unconditionally recognizing Tibet as a part of China. Monks who refused to sign were punished. Five monks from Drepung Monastery were arrested, and there was a crackdown on the peaceful solidarity protest of other Drepung monks; the monastery was also placed under military surveillance.
Democratic societies throughout the world are concerned about such activities by China. The Latvian Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet has also repeatedly written letters urging the resolution of this controversial issue by means of humane, lawful and peaceful dialogue; the Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet has also asked the Chinese government unequivocally and truly to confirm its desire to establish constructive relations with Tibet; this is all the more important in view of the 2008 Olympic Games to be held in China. Since ancient times, the Olympic movement has banished hatred, intolerance and war and has promoted expressions of good will and triumph. We hope that China will not be an exception in this regard and, being a vast country, it will be equally magnanimous in its spirit.
We join the call of the world's democratic societies to free the imprisoned Tibetan monks. We also called on the Latvian government and the President to join our initiative.
Having walked the hard and complicated road to democracy and having learned bitter lessons of history, Latvia understands that democracy is the most important instrument in successfully establishing and developing the state. As a member state of the European Union, Latvia, through its highest officials, has always expressed an interest in developing a constructive dialog with China concerning humanitarian issues. Together with other EU countries, Latvia has asked China to continue harmonizing its legal processes with universally accepted standards of human rights and to activate processes for preserving Tibet's cultural, ethnic and religious identity.
Source: Central Tibetan Administration