Gaborone, Botswana — 'Just as the progressive world united to end apartheid in South Africa, support the objectives of the Tibetan government in-Exile and the Tibetans they represent,' former Botswana President Dr Ian Khama said, making a strong appeal to the international community to help Tibetans across the world in their efforts to regain freedom in Tibet.
From May 7-10, 2019, parliamentary leaders and esteemed delegates will gather in Riga, Latvia for the 7th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet. The World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet seeks to reinvigorate and galvanize global support for Tibet through concerted efforts and deliberations on the parliamentary front.
The 1st World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet was held in New Delhi in 1994, second WPCT in Vilnius (Lithuania) in 1995, third WPCT in Washington DC in 1997, fourth WPCT in Edinburgh in 2005 and fifth WPCT in Rome in 2009 and the sixth WPCT was held in Ottawa, Canada in 2012.
A day ahead of the 7th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet, the Former President Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama issued a statement to the delegates, appealing for united efforts to support the objectives of the Central Tibet Administration and the Tibetan people they represent.
“His Excellency the Former President Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama wishes to convey his best regards to the 7th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet to be held in Riga, Latvia from 7-10 May 2019," said the statement issued by his office.
"The World Parliamentarians’ Conventions on Tibet are held in order to raise awareness of Tibetan cause. Tibet has had a tumultuous history, during which it has spent some periods functioning as an independent entity," it said in the prepared statement, adding: "others ruled by powerful Chinese and Mongolian dynasties until 1950 when China sent in thousands of troops to enforce its claim on the region."
"In 1959, after a failed anti-Chinese uprising, the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet and set up a government in exile in India. Most of Tibet’s monasteries were destroyed in the 1960s and 1970s during China’s Cultural Revolution. Thousands of Tibetans are believed to have been killed during periods of repression and martial law," th statement added.
In his statement, Dr Ian Khama further expressed that "the past six WPCT conventions were held in Delhi, India 1994, Vilnius Lithuania in 1995, Washington DC USA in 1997, Edinburg Scotland in 2005, Rome Italy in 2009 and Ottawa Canada in 2012."
"Just as the progressive world united to end apartheid in South Africa, the Former President appeals for united efforts to support the objectives of the Central Tibet Administration and the Tibetan people they represent,” the statement concluded.The Chinese Communist totalitarian regime began their invasion of Tibet in 1949, reaching complete occupation of the country in 1959. Since that time, more than 1.2 million people, 20% of the nation's population of six million, have died as a direct result of China's invasion and occupation. In addition, over 99% of Tibet's six thousand religious monasteries, temples, and shrines, have been looted or decimated resulting in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist scriptures.