Bern, Tuesday, 10 December, 2013: - Loten Namling, an Indian-born Tibetan singer and artist currently living in Switzerland, urged Swiss politicians and parliamentarians to speak about the Human Rights deteriorating situation in Tibet.
“It was a very important day in the history of Switzerland,” he said, adding that he was happy to be part of it in some way. “It was about signing the Free Trade Agreement between Switzerland and China. It was about bringing even more money into Switzerland. I was permitted inside the main government building to meet politicians and lobby for Tibet,” Loten said.
He said he ‘tried to convince politicians from diverse Swiss political parties to speak about the Human Rights situation in Tibet and lobbied them not to sign the treaty which is against the fundamental belief of the Swiss people and the Basic Principles of the Swiss union. “It was also a hectic day with lots of political lobbying but in the end, unfortunately, the majority voted YES to the Trade Agreement which is basically a disaster for human rights and environmental issues,” he added.
However, Mr Loten spoke to Swiss parliamentarians, including the finance minister. “I had the great honour to speak to Mr Ammann Schneider who is the Finance minister and the person responsible for the Free Trade Agreement between Switzerland and China,” he said.
The singer spoke with him about hundreds of Tibetan artists, intellectuals, writers and poets who are in Chinese prison for speaking about Tibetan culture and tradition. “I told him that by signing the trade treaty Switzerland is literally hand shaking with a murderer,” Loten further added.
He urged the Swiss minister to consider not sign the treaty as long as China doesn’t improve the human rights situation in Tibet. “The minister assured me that he takes the Tibet issue as a very important matter and he will do his best to convey the message to the Chinese leadership.”
The financial minister also told him, one day he would like to come to his concert and hear his songs. “Without any hesitation, I just offered one of my famous Khampa warrior songs, hopefully he enjoyed it,” Loten stressed.
The singer also urged the minister to invite His Holiness the Dalai Lama officially to the Swiss parliament and honour Him. Loten said that “as an individual Tibetan, the day was a great success and I contributed a small step to the freedom struggle of our people and nation.”