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Tibet Society believes it is vital to keep the pressure on the British government by writing, emailing or, even better, meeting your MP by going to a local surgery or Westminster and asking about their party's policy on Tibet.


The Tibetan people deserve our support. Despite a half-century of persecution, they have steadfastly refused to adopt terrorist tactics to fight their cause. If we choose not to support Tibet we are simply showing the world that there is no alternative to violence.


Find your MP  I  How to lobby your MP  I
What can an MP do for Tibet?
  I What is an EDM?  I  Useful links


Find your MP
To find our who your MP is and their contact details visit
www.parliament.uk or www.writetothem.com


How to effectively lobby your MP
Background
Take account of the following in establishing relationships with MPs:
    MPs have no power but they do have influence;
    Once voted in, each MP decides themselves in which area they will specialize;
    MPs have a flexible career structure and job description;
    MPs can help individual constituents, when other areas of the state system have failed;
    MPs are overwhelmed by constituency cases;
    MPs rarely get thanked;
    MPs have considerable goodwill for Tibet.
All of the above should shape the way in which you approach an MP and how you maintain a relationship with an MP and his/her office.

Contacting an MP
Since MPs take their constituents very seriously, it is best to make your own constituent MP your target MP. Ideally, and where possible, lobbying on the Tibet cause should be Tibetan-led.

MPs staff are overworked so make it clear from the outset that you aware of this, ask for just 20 to 30 minutes, give thought to what you are going to say and be specific in what you request of the MP. It has to be something they can realistically do and which enables them to use their influence for the benefit of Tibet. Give a written summary of what you discussed, highlighting the specific points you want to emphasize. Keep this short and simple!

Meeting with your MP

Make the point that Tibet is unique in adopting and maintaining a non-violent approach in the face of decades-long violent repression. Because of this non-violent approach Tibet has only public opinion and parliamentary pressure as weapons, to which the Chinese authorities are fortunately very sensitive. This means an MPs influence can have an impact.

You could give your MP a copy of the DVD Leaving Fear Behind, the documentary made by Tibetan film-maker Dhondup Wangchen, who is now serving a six year prison sentence simply for filming the views and opinions of ordinary Tibetans in Tibet. (Copies of the DVD are available from Tibet Society.)

Mention that every year, hundreds of Tibetans still choose to escape from Tibet over the Himalayas.

Explain that an MPs support can have an impact on both the British government and Chinese government.

With the Tibet issue there is little difference in approach or support between political parties. It is very much down to an individual MPs support, interest and commitment to Tibet.

Ask your MP if they will:
   join the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet
   on occasion ask oral and written questions
   on occasion write letters
   on occasion sign Early Day Motions
   participate in Tibetan activities in their constituency and Westminster

Finally...
Remember, every MP you recruit makes a significant contribution to the cause of Tibet; it shows that Tibet has a wide base of support and it is not just the same group of MPs who are concerned. And always remember to thank your MP!

If you need any advice on finding your constituency MP or questions relating to the above contact the Tibet Society of the UK on 020 7272 1414 or email
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


What can an MP do for Tibet?
Letters: Everyone takes a letter from an MP seriously. When an MP receives a letter from a constituent, they will often write to the relevant Minister to seek a formal government response. Civil servants prepare the Ministers response to MPs letters very carefully.
Questions: MPs can ask Oral Questions to Ministers. Ministers are questioned every fortnight in the House; MPs who want to put down questions go into a ballot. The first 14 are likely to be answered.

Written Questions: MPs can put down written questions, which Government has to answer. You can write to your MP requesting they ask an oral or written question, but MPs will appreciate being supplied with the essence of the question and a supplementary one if possible. Ministers put a great deal of work into briefing themselves in readiness for questions, as their answers are part of the official record of Parliament.

Ongoing questioning of the government keeps the issue of Tibet on the agenda in Westminster. As an example of its potential impact, in the past questioning and lobbying resulted in the government adding the wording without pre-conditions to the statement that they believed the Chinese authorities should negotiate with the Dalai Lama.

Despite the fact that the government has admitted that the UK China Human Rights Dialogue has achieved nothing for Tibet so far, it remains the framework within which Tibet is discussed between the British and Chinese governments. This makes it the area on which to focus. Useful topics for questions include asking when the issue of Tibet was most recently raised, what was said and how the Chinese government reacted. It is also useful to raise a specific current concern such as the disappearance of the Panchen Lama or the ongoing Strike Hard campaign that was introduced to crackdown on Tibetan dissidents after the peaceful protests in 2008.
Offer to provide drafts for questions and letters as this will make a major difference to MPs. They do not have the staff to do the research unless Tibet happens to be their specialist subject.

Early Day Motions: These are statements tabled by MPs on a specific issue. They are all-party motions and have to be signed by six MPs from the three main parties in order to be tabled. By encouraging other MPs to sign the Motions, they can be kept on the daily order paper (agenda). They are used both to draw attention to an issue and as an indicator of Parliamentary support for that issue. (See below for more information on EDMs.)

China: The Chinese Embassy takes MPs opinions and communications very seriously, as they do any communication about Tibet. It is helpful to have MPs write positive letters to the Chinese Ambassador, particularly in support of the ongoing discussions with the Dalai Lamas envoys. Ask your MP to write to the Chinese Ambassador urging that the Chinese government continue these discussions.


What is an Early Day Motion (EDM)?
An EDM is a motion tabled by an MP for debate. Although EDMs are rarely debated, they are printed in Parliamentary Official Reports, along with their signatories and thus serve a vital campaign function.

In particular, EDMs:
    enable MPs to express their support for an issue;
    attract publicity to the cause, and maintain its momentum;
    draw the government's attention to MPs concerns.

When visiting, e-mailing or writing to your MP, asking them to sign an EDM about Tibet is an easy and practical way of making them aware of the current plight of the Tibetan people. It also gives your MP an opportunity to respond constructively.

Note: Some MPs are unable to sign EDMs (e.g. ministers and those on the front bench) and some MPs refuse to sign on principle believing EDMs do not achieve anything. If your MP is the latter you can tell him/her that the Chinese government takes notice of EDMs (as they are permanently placed in the Houses of Parliament records) and takes into account the level of support such EDMs receive from MPs. So by signing the EDM they will be showing the Chinese government the level of support Tibet has in Parliament.

If you would like to find out if your MP has signed any EDMs on Tibet you can seach the Parliament's EDM database, or contact Tibet Society on 020 7272 1414 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


On 12 March 2013, EDM 1175 was tabled by Fabian Hamilton MP. The text of EDM 1175 is as follows:
EDM 1175: TIBETAN RESISTANCE IN TIBET SINCE 1959
That this House, on the occasion of the 54th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising of 10 March 1959, expresses its sadness at the loss of countless Tibetan lives over the last 64 years due to China's military occupation; draws attention to the continued Tibetan resistance to China's repressive policies and human and civil rights abuses through peaceful protests and grass roots cultural movements; strongly condemns the use of force by Chinese police and military personnel to quash these protests; further condemns the Chinese government's restrictions on freedom of expression which include long prison sentences for sharing information about demonstrations; calls on the Chinese government to ease tensions by withdrawing its forces from Tibet and allow foreign journalists, humanitarian agencies and independent observers full and unfettered access to Tibetan areas to ascertain the current situation; calls on the Government to find new forms of approach with China that will help safeguard Tibetans rights and freedoms; and further calls on the Government to work multilaterally with other governments to urge China to work with Tibetan representatives to resolve the grievances of the Tibetan people and bring stability and peace to Tibet.
Click here to see which MPs have signed EDM 1175.



Useful links
Tibet in Parliament
Details and links of when and how Tibet and related matters have been raised in the UK parliament during the parliamentary session 2012-13.


All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet

The APPGT, founded in 1986, consists of MPs from all three main parties who have an interest in, and concern for, the Tibetan cause and Tibetan people. Tibet Society is the Secretariat of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet.

www.parliament.uk
This is parliaments official website. You can find out who your MP is and  look up EDMs to see which ones your MP has signed.

www.writetothem.com
On this site all you need to do is write your letter online, put in your postcode and the website does the rest!

www.theyworkforyou.com
This site keeps tabs on the UK parliament. Here you can find out who your MP is and what he or she has been actively doing in Westminster.



Tibet Society, the worlds first Tibet support group, was founded in 1959. Funded by its members, it has been working for over 50 years to seek justice for Tibet through parliamentary lobbying, campaigns and actions. Help keep Tibet alive by joining Tibet Society today. (Annual membership 24; Family 36; Life 500).
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