Reacting to reports of two more self immolations by teenaged Tibetans in eastern Tibet earlier today, a group of visiting UK Member of Parliaments said that they felt and shared the “terrible pain” of the Tibetans in taking the decision to self immolate.
“We have an obligation to work way in every way possible to take action that would make it less likely that people are driven to take their own lives. We have to work in every way possible to give hope to the Tibetans that they would get the dignity to live their natural life,” said MP Simon Hughes who is part of a five-member UK Parliamentary delegation visiting the Tibetan exile seat of Dharamshala, north India.
The delegation had met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kalon Tripa Lobsang Sangay and his cabinet colleagues, various community and NGO leaders, and also new comers from Tibet at the Tibetans Reception Centre during their stay.
The Parliamentary delegation led by Labour MP Fabian Hamilton, who is also the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Tibet, wrapped up their five-day visit with a press conference yesterday.
Reaffirming their continued support for Tibet, the UK lawmakers announced a proposed programme of granting scholarships to Tibetan students from Tibet in UK universities.
“We discussed with His Holiness the Dalai Lama the prospect of having Tibetan students from Tibet in various universities in England and the prospect of raising more awareness about the plight of Tibet by reaching through to the Chinese people,” MP Hamilton told reporters.
The visiting Parliamentarians also said that the will make effort to “introduce a Tibetan Language news service in the BBC” while adding that it would be “a hugely difficult task.”
When asked about the then UK Foreign Secretary David Milband’s comment on Tibet “being a part of China” in 2008, Hamilton defended British foreign policy saying that even “the Dalai Lama agrees and prefers for Tibet to remain under China as an autonomous region.”
However, after the press conference the UK lawmaker told Phayul that he do agree that “Tibet was an independent nation in the hearts of the world though not in the documents of the nations across the world.”
When asked if his government would recognise the Tibetan Government-in-Exile if Tibetans appealed, Hamilton said “most possibly, yes.”
Kalon Tripa is scheduled to visit UK at the end of this year.