A letter to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet from Heidi Hautala and Satu Hassi.[:]
Your Holiness the Dalai Lama,
We wish to congratulate you on the day of your 75th birthday on 6 July.
We believe in your valuable and pragmatic work for genuine autonomy of Tibet and offer our firm support to you. Your work on the Middle Way approach and the Memorandum on Genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people are true commitments to peace, inter-religious understanding, non-violence and to a practical solution for the future of Tibet and its people. Thus we sincerely regret that the celebration of your birthday is prohibited in China.
We remain deeply concerned of the situation of Tibetans inside China. The human rights situation is very grim: repression on freedoms of speech, religion, association and movement has increased since the March 2008 unrest. Tibetans’ disappearing, unwarranted arrests and serious abuses are reported frequently. We are especially worried about the situation of Tibetan scholar and writer, Tagyal (also known under the pen name Shogdung), who was detained on 23 April under suspicion of “inciting separatism”. People’s Republic of China must fully respect the Tibetan people’s fundamental human rights and freedoms.
The persecution and repression of Tibetans has a special character since it endangers the whole existence of the nation and culture. However, it is important to realize that the answer to those threats lies within the potential changes towards democracy of China in its entirety.
In Heidi Hautala’s meeting with your Holiness, you came to the conclusion that it is of utmost importance that the EU demands an investigation into the reasons and consequences of the 10 March 2008 uprising. We urge EU’s High Representative Lady Ashton to act swiftly on this.
We support your view that a peaceful dialogue between your representatives and the Chinese authorities is the right way to find a lasting and peaceful solution to the situation of Tibet. Therefore we urge the Chinese side to continue these dialogues in good faith and both sides to find concrete solutions.
Finally, as Finnish Green Members of the European Parliament we are attentive to your grave concerns on environmental issues. Tibet is the ‘world’s third pole’ because it contains the biggest glaciers outside of the Arctic and Antarctic. The melting of the glaciers could be catastrophic. We encourage all the stakeholders to integrate the Tibetans, especially Tibetan nomads, in the decision making and management of the area’s natural resources.
We wish you good health and all the success in defending the genuine autonomy of Tibet and the fundamental human rights of Tibetans. We remain fully at your service in this important mission and wish to meet you soon again in the European parliament.
Heidi Hautala, Member of the European Parliament
Satu Hassi, Member of the European Parliament