Chairman’s Note January – February 2017

I mentioned in my note in the last newsletter that I had written to all Members of Parliament apart from ministers, asking them to consider joining a Parliamentary Friendship Group for Tibet. To my disappointment, very few responded. Those who did respond were supportive of the idea. The lack of support of the rest makes me wonder whether it has anything to do with the Chinese government’s influence on our MPs. In the past I have had no such problem. I hope that the Free Trade Agreement with China is not affecting our human values and judgement of what is right.

The International Tibet Support Network organisation is currently going through a lot of discussion about the United States’ election of Donald Trump as president and what it means for Tibet and the US. The Tibetans rely heavily on the United States to give moral support for Tibet, and several past US presidents have met His Holiness. I have no doubt that somewhere along the line President Trump will meet His Holiness in spite of his assurance to Chinese president Xi of the US’ one China policy. We hope that President Trump will get the Chinese government and the representatives of the Tibetan Government in exile to a negotiation table to discuss the future of Tibet and come to a mutually agreeable solution. We always live in hope.

However, I am very disturbed that since 2009, 146 Tibetans inside and outside Tibet have self-immolated in despair of the harsh policy of Chinese government on Tibet, yet the world leaders are silent on this on going tragedy.

10th March commemorations will be held throughout the world, starting in New Zealand. Please see the ads on the back page, or contact your local branch. We hope to have a good turnout as usual. Many thanks for all your support.

Lastly, may I take this opportunity to wish you A Happy Tibetan New Year (Losar) on 27th February 2017
The Tibetan Year of the Fire Bird – 2144

Best wishes and Tashi Delek

Thuten Kesang,
National Chairman.