Amidst flagging European hopes for a Chinese bailout, Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay urged the European Union (EU) not to compromise on human rights issues in Tibet for economic gains.
“We have always said that the economic interests of any country are important but at the same time human rights are equally important. This is our request to the (European) countries,” AFP quoted the de facto Tibetan Prime Minister as saying.
Dr Sangay who is currently on a whirlwind tour of Europe arrived in Brussels Saturday at the invitation of the European Parliament’s Tibet Intergroup. He is joined in the EU capital by Penpa Tsering, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament and Diki Chhoyang, Minister for the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration.
Dr Sangay visited the European Parliament Tuesday. Apart from delivering the keynote speech at the Tibet conference on Genuine Autonomy, Dr Sangay is also scheduled to address the Foreign Affairs Committee and meet with parliamentarians and members of the Intergroup and representatives of key media groups.
The 43-year old Kalon Tripa also met with representatives of the Benelux Tibet Support Groups and Belgium based Buddhist centers to express his appreciation for their consistent support to the Tibetan cause and to inform them of the policy priority of his administration.
Dr Sangay and Penpa Tsering also met with over 1000 Tibetans from the Belgium Tibetan Community and representatives of the Netherlands Tibetan Community.
While Tsering spoke at length on the amendments made to the Tibetan Charter following the devolution of political authority by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the elected leadership, Dr Sangay informed the audience on the “strong sense of concern” shown by the US and other European countries on the self-immolation crisis in Tibet during his recent visits.
Prior to his meetings in Belgium, Dr Sangay had met officials in the foreign ministries of Germany, France, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland en route to Brussels. His next stop will be in London.
This is the first European visit of the new Kalon Tripa since he took full political leadership from the Dalai Lama in August.