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kirti-rinpoche-EP-Brussels-2013Brussels: - On March 7, 2013, Kirti Rinpoche, the head of Kirti monastic community which has witnessed the highest number of self-immolations in Tibet, testified before the human rights subcommittee of the European Parliament on the crisis in Tibet.

In his statement, Rinpoche expressed his deep gratitude to the European Parliament for its consistent support to the non-violent freedom struggle of the Tibetan people and for giving him the opportunity to exchange views with its members, according to the Central Tibetan administration media, 'Tibet Net.'

He briefed the panel on the deteriorating human rights situation inside Tibet, particularly in the Ngaba region, expressing his immediate concern for the safety of the families, relatives and friends of the 107 self-immolators who are being handed down heavy sentences including death for their alleged role in "inciting" self-immolation. MEPs listened attentively to Rinpoche's testimony and expressed their deep concern and solidarity with the Tibetan people in their freedom struggle.

Kirti Rinpoche called on the European Parliament to take concrete actions to help preserve the Tibetan language, religion, culture and identity, which are facing extermination under the Chinese government's repressive policies.

He urged the European Parliament for the adoption of a resolution demanding an immediate end to the repressive policies and withdrawal of Chinese security forces from the Tibetan areas. He also called for an immediate release of all the Tibetans imprisoned under false charges or for their alleged role in the self-immolations and unfettered access for independent fact-finding delegations and the media to examine the real situation in Tibet.

In the afternoon, in addition to meetings with some prominent EU officials, Rinpoche was invited as the guest speaker to the 95th meeting of the all party Tibet Inter-group in the European Parliament. Other than MEPs, parliamentary assistants, representatives of NGOs, the meeting was attended by Ms Chungdak Koren, member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile representing Europe and a group of young Tibetans from across Europe participating in the annual lobby day.

Rinpoche has a series of important and meaningful meetings lined up in Brussels before he visits Paris on 11 March.

"It has come to our knowledge that China's EU Ambassador is also actively seeking meetings with officials that met Rinpoche during his visit to Brussels," an officials at the Office in Tibet in Brussels said.

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