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Tibet-EU-2014Dharamshala: - The spiritual leader of Tibet His Holiness the Dalai Lama sent a message to the 100th session of Tibet Intergroup meeting at the European Parliament on 19 February. The meeting was attended by over 200 people including Members of European Parliament (MEP) and their staff.

"Although I no longer hold any political responsibility, as a Tibetan I cannot help but be concerned about my compatriots' well-being. The Tibetan issue is not only about the political rights of the Tibetan people, but also about matters that impact humanity at large," His Holiness the Dalai Lama said in his message.

"Firstly, because the Tibetan plateau has been shown to affect climate change and because the major rivers that rise in Tibet supply more than one billion people across Asia with water, the Tibetan environment is of crucial importance to the region. Secondly, because Tibetan Buddhist culture focuses on peace, non-violence and compassion, it is of value to the world and worth preserving," His Holiness added.

"The situation in Tibet at present is grim," the Tibetan spiritual leader said, adding: "Tibetan culture remains under threat. Meanwhile, the Chinese authorities are relentless in their suppression of any sign of protest or dissent. And yet, it seems the greater the suppression, the stronger is the Tibetan spirit of resistance."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that "The only lasting solution will be when the Chinese Government addresses the Tibetan people's aspirations so they can be resolved through equitable negotiations. On our part, the elected Tibetan leadership has reiterated its commitment to the Middle Way Approach of not seeking separation, but genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people," His Holiness said in his message which was read out by Mr. Thomas Mann, President of the Tibet Intergroup in the European Parliament."

"In recent times, the Chinese Communist Party has begun to focus on the needs of the rural population and the poor. Part of this involves the need to raise the functioning of the judicial system to international standards. People who know President Xi Jinping tell me that he works in a more open and realistic way. In fact, he seems to be taking some courageous steps to reduce corruption. I hope he will be able to bring about political reform in much the same way that Deng Xiaoping brought about the market reforms that have made China so economically powerful."

"If China changes in a positive direction, we can hope for more transparency from the leadership. This in turn will lead to trust and respect. Such a development will enable China to earn the respect of the international community, while also resolving issues like the Tibetan question for the benefit of everyone involved. I hope bodies like the European Parliament can find ways to encourage China in this direction," His Holiness said in his message."

According to the Central Tibetan Administration, the panel of speakers in the meeting include Mr. Kelsang Gyaltsen, the Special Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Europe, Mr. Matteo Meccaci, President of International Campaign for Tibet, Ven. Thupten Wangchen, member of Tibetan parliament, Mr. Alan Cantos, Director of Comite de Apoyo al Tibet and Dr. Jose Elias Esteve, lawyer for the ground breaking Tibet Lawsuit in Spain.

The speakers of the intergroup meeting spoke on a wide range of issues related to Tibet and the current situation inside Tibet.

Mr. Cantos and Dr. Esteve in particular spoke on the Tibet lawsuit in Spain and its background, and their endeavours in pursuing the case in the Spanish court of law. They also spoke on the political pressures to abandon the lawsuit, and how such pressures threaten to undermine democratic values of Spain as a country and the EU in general. They urged the Spanish political parties to launch a campaign to reverse the constitutional reform undertaken by the Spanish parliament to stifle the lawsuit against the former Chinese leaders.

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