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Tibet Society engages Chinese Ambassador at Labour Party Conference PDF Print E-mail
[10 October 2009] The only organisation advocating for Tibet, Tibet Societys presence at the 2009 Labour Party Conference in Brighton ensured that Labour MPs, members, the international media and other delegates were engaged about the pressing political and human rights issues facing the Tibetan people. Direct representations were also made to the Chinese Ambassador, who was present at a conference fringe meeting. Chinese Ambassador Madam Fu Ying was on the panel of a meeting alongside Ivan Lewis, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Isabel Hilton, CEO of China Dialogue; Will Hutton, journalist and author of The Writing on the Wall, China and the West in the 21st Century; Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Environment and Climate Change and Ben Chapman MP, Chair of the All Party China Group, who chaired the meeting.

The Minister of State, who had recently visited China and Tibet, took the opportunity to express his views on the serious challenges that the Chinese government face regarding Tibet. Speaking of his privilege to briefly visit the region, the Minister encouraged the Chinese government to allow further access for such visits, and questioned the long-term stability of Tibet if China fails to engage in dialogue with the Dalai Lama. Furthermore the Minister spoke of the need for the dividends of any economic and social development to be seen by the Tibetan people, called for a review of the status of autonomous regions within the PRC constitution as well as progress to be made with regard to the rule of law and human rights.

Addressing the Ambassador, Tibet Society called for a policy allowing access to Tibet to international observers to monitor the human rights situation and to observe politically sensitive trials, such as the upcoming trial of Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen. Following the fringe meeting Tibet Society spoke at length with the ambassador stressing the need for the Chinese authorities to address the calls for rights from Tibetans inside Tibet, underlining the continued efforts of the Dalai Lama and his envoys to negotiate and the need for independent observers on the ground inside Tibet.

Tibet Societys stand was visited by the likes of Jack Straw, Hilary Benn and General Secretary of the Labour Party Ray Collins and helped to raise awareness amongst delegates of the current situation in Tibet.

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