Madrid: In a historic first, an Inter-parliamentary Group for Tibet was officially launched in the Spanish Senate on 21 February 2023. It’s a cross party group of 29 Senators.
An inaugural function was held to mark the formation of the group in the Manuel Giménez Abad hall of the Senate in the presence of Representative Genkhang, Venerable Thupten Wangchen and Mr Thupten Gyatso, Members of Tibetan Parliament in Exile representing Europe and Africa and Ms Ringzing Dolma, President of the Tibetan community in Spain.
In his briefing, Mr Robert Masih Nahar, President of the group, described the primary goals being to promote broader international recognition of the Tibetan issue specially aimed at improving the respect for human rights in Tibet; drawing attention to the unresolved issue of Tibet; working together with other inter-parliamentary Tibet Groups in the European countries and the Tibet Intergroup in the European Parliament to support the call for the appointment of the “EU Special Representative for Tibetan affairs” with the mandate to promote substantive dialogue between the Envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the People’s Republic of China.
Kungo Sikyong Penpa Tsering welcomed the formation of the Inter-Parliamentary group for Tibet in the Spanish Senate and extended an invitation to Senators to visit Dharamsala in the future in his video message.
Representative Genkhang, on behalf of the Office of Tibet, welcomed the historic initiative and thanked the President and the 28 other Senators for their support. She then gave a brief but compelling presentation on the situation in Tibet in general while highlighting the most pressing issues.
“Setting up an Inter-Parliamentary Group for Tibet at such a critical time in Tibet’s history is an act of solidarity with the six million Tibetans that are undergoing tremendous suffering under the Chinese Communist Party. This also reflects your support for non-violence advocated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the commitment of the Central Tibetan Administration to solve the Sino-Tibetan conflict through dialogue”, Representative Genkhang further added.
The three other Tibetan speakers also recalled the direness of the situation in Tibet and commended the Senators for their support in establishing the group and urged for continued support.
Establishment of this group was the next logical step following Senator Nahar’s participation at the 8th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet in Washington DC last year. The Office of Tibet, Brussels, has had the privilege of keeping in close contact with Senator Nahar ever since.
Around 35 Senators and journalists attended the launch of the Inter-Parliamentary Group for Tibet. Representative Genkhang offered a traditional Tibetan scarf, a pin of the Tibetan flag and a dossier with important documents translated in Spanish to each member of the group. The inaugural function ended with a lunch hosted by the Office of Tibet, Brussels, in honor of the members of the new group.