Taiwanese legislators have formed new Parliamentary Group for Tibet to support Tibetans living in Taiwan
A group of over 30 members of various Taiwanese political parties have formed the Taiwan Parliamentary Group for Tibet. This follows a visit to Dharamsala in September by a 10-member delegation of the Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan composed of parliamentarians, social activists, writers, students and others.
Dawa Tsering, the Dalai Lama’s representative at the Office of Tibet in Taipei, was the chief guest at the launch ceremony held on 7 October, with Tibetan and Taiwanese parliamentarians in attendance.
Replacing the “useless”
The new group will prioritise substantial legislation first, abolishing the existing Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission, a vestige of the Republic of China’s claim to sovereignty over Mongolia and Tibet, and push for a refugee act supporting Tibetans living in Taiwan.
The group will be chaired by New Power Party legislator Tshiong-tso 'Freddy' Lim , who also serves as president of Tibet Support Group in Taiwan. He characterised the new body as a bipartsan group of parliamentarians from across the Taiwanese political spectrum who would collaborate and consolidate efforts to highlight the issue of Tibet in Taiwan as well as on the international stage.
Lim spoke of the key impetus for establishing the group as having come from the Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan, led by Tibetan Tashi Tsering. Referring to the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission, Tashi Tsering said:
“As Tibetan human rights have degenerated in recent years and many people have self-immolated, the commission has not done anything — no events or actions whatsoever and not a penny of money for the cause of Tibetan human rights has been given.”
Describing the commission as “useless”, Tashi Tsering made the point: “They use the banner of Tibet to take a lot of money from Taiwanese taxpayers, but we have no idea how they spend it.”
A new chapter begins?
Following the emergence of a new President in Taiwan, a positive approach toward Tibet from both civilians and politicians has been observed. Strongly constructive steps have been taken such as creating the Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan, inviting the Dalai Lama to the Taiwanese Parliament, and now launching this Taiwan Parliamentary Group for Tibet.
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