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uk-Tibet-lobby-2013Dharamshala: - Tibetans and supporters have lobbied around 150 British Parliamentarians to help find a lasting solution to the issue of Tibet.

The lobby effort was organised on 10 March by a coalition of UK-based Tibet groups, including Tibet Society & Students for Free Tibet UK.

About 300 supporters sought the MPs support during the fifth annual Tibet Lobby at the Houses of Parliament and in local constituencies around the UK on 13 March.

"The focus of this year's lobby was to call on MPs to ask David Cameron to make a public statement of concern on Tibet and to urge the UK government to work with other governments to find a solution to the Tibet crisis," the organisers said.

The MPs agreed it was time for another debate on Tibet in the House of Commons, given that the last debate was in December 2011.

MPs who are members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet (APPGT), including Fabian Hamilton MP (Lab, Leeds North East and chair of the APPGT), Cathy Jamieson MP (Lab/Co-op, Kilmarnock and Loudoun) and Nic Dakin MP (Lab, Scunthorpe), met and interacted with the lobbyists during a special meeting.

The response was positive, with most MPs committing to take the recommended actions, the organisers said.

On 10 March, around 600 Tibetans and Tibet supporters took to the streets in central London to commemorate the 54th Tibetan National Uprising Day. They called on China to end its occupation of Tibet and respect the rights of the Tibetan people.

A letter signed by representatives from the organising coalition, including Tibet Society, was delivered to 10 Downing Street. The letter called on Prime Minister David Cameron to publicly speak out on the Tibet issue and to work with other governments to urge China to end the repression in Tibet.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Tim Loughton, MP and long-time Tibet supporter, spoke out against the UK government's decision to refuse ministers from meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his summer visit.

He urged the new Chinese President Xi Jinping "to start a real dialogue" on Tibet. "We offer an olive branch to China if they really mean what it says in their constitution about respecting the autonomy of regions within the borders of China," said Mr Loughton.

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