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11march20102Dharamshala: At the opening of this week's Strasbourg plenary session, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek appealed to the Chinese leadership to change its approach and to resume the dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama.

"The 10th of March is the 51st anniversary of the peoples uprising in Tibet. Together with 80'000 followers, the Dalai Lama had been forced to flee the country. We always hope and continuously appeal to the Chinese leadership, to change its approach and to resume the dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama," Mr Jerzy Buzek said.

On the occasion of the International Tibet Memorial Day, 10 March, hundreds of MEPs placed Tibetan flags on their desks during the plenary session at Strasbourg. MEPs applauded the speech by the Chairman of the EP Human Rights Committee concerning the current situation in Tibet.

The organiser of the 'Flag Campaign', the Chairman of the Tibet Intergroup of the EP, Thomas Mann MEP, said: "10 March is a day of mourning. It is also a day of solidarity and of resistance against the silencing of thoughts and speech, against the violation of human rights and the oppression of cultural and religious identity. Today, everywhere in the world, Tibetan flags are being hoisted on official buildings. Every year, thousands of cities and communities in the EU take part in this event. MEPs sent a strong signal today of solidarity with the Tibetan people."

Underscoring the necessity of helping the Tibetans with all their might in order to break through the diplomatic dead ends, Mr Thoman Mann said: "In numerous EP Resolutions, we have demanded the unconditional continuation of constructive dialogue between the Chinese leadership and the Dalai Lama. In February 2010, the ninth round of talks with the Tibetans ended without progress. Despite all official Tibetan declarations, China sees its unity and sovereignty in great danger. The demonisation of His Holiness does not cease. But in China, however, there are not only hardliners and nationalists. The EU has to support all approaches inside China which respect the territorial integrity of the State and at the same time ensure the cultural and religious identity of the Tibetan people. During His Holiness' visit to the US in February, President Barack Obama clearly supported and acknowledged this middle way approach of His Holiness."

More than 110 MEPs from across the political spectrum are Members of the Tibet Intergroup. Its existence in the EP goes back to 1989. "We will also put our efforts into a constructive dialogue and cooperation between the Chinese and Tibetan people during this legislative term", said Mr Mann.

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