Copy of letter from Free Tibet to Gordon Brown
Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP
c/o Tom Scholar, Chief of Staff
10 Downing Street
Dear Prime Minister
On behalf of Free Tibet Campaign I would like to thank you once again for agreeing to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama this month and for the public support you have shown for the need to reach a negotiated solution to the current and ongoing problems in Tibet.
We are, however, dismayed by rumours that you are considering holding this meeting at Lambeth Palace (although I understand no venue has yet been confirmed with the Office of Tibet in London). We urge you to reconsider this proposal and meet the Dalai Lama at 10 Downing Street, as did Prime Minister John Major in December 1991 and Prime Minister Tony Blair in May 1999.
As you will be aware, last year Chancellor Angela Merkel met the Dalai Lama in her office, Prime Minister Stephen Harper met the Dalai Lama in his office and President George Bush presented the Dalai Lama with the Congressional Medal of Honour. It is only fitting that the UK Prime Minister should accord the same level of courtesy.
Given the prevailing situation in Tibet - hundreds of deaths, thousands of arrests of peaceful protesters, the media blackout and the refusal of the Chinese government to allow independent observers into Tibet to investigate stories of torture, intimidation and deprivation - surely now is the time to acknowledge the Dalai Lama as the key to ending this decades-long tragedy?
Prime Minister, you will be the first world leader to meet the Dalai Lama since the current unrest began in Tibet and Tibetan regions of China. It is crucial at this time that the Dalai Lama be recognised for what he is: the legitimate symbol of the Tibetan people’s struggle for self determination.
Nothing could make this plainer than a meeting at 10 Downing Street. It would send a clear message to both the British and Tibetan people that the UK government is serious about its claims to want to see a peaceful, negotiated settlement.
Free Tibet Campaign urges you, therefore, to announce as soon as possible that you will meet the Dalai Lama at 10 Downing Street.
Free Tibet Campaign
Tel: 020 7324 4605