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tibet-swiss-2012Berne: – Switzerland lawmakers have expressed concern over human rights violations in Tibet and said they will raise Tibet issues in the parliament to pressure the Swiss government to take-up the issue of Tibet within bilateral encounters with China.

On the 23rd anniversary of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's conferment of Nobel Peace Prize and the 64th anniversary of the International Human Rights Day, Mr Kelsang Gyaltsen, Special Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Europe, met with members of the Swiss Parliamentary Group for Tibet in the capital of Berne.

According to Dharamshala, India based Tibetan administration, the meeting was co-organised by the Parliamentary Group for Tibet and the Swiss-Tibetan Friendship Association, which is the largest Tibet support group in Switzerland. The attending MPs represented five different political parties.

Special Representative Gyaltsen informed the parliamentarians about the current situation inside Tibet, particularly the ongoing protests through self-immolation. He emphasised the importance of solidarity and support extended by the international community to peoples living under constant repression and occupation.

"The memories of the peoples living in the Eastern European countries during the Cold War period tell us, that international concern and messages of solidarity were sources of hope and strength for the suppressed ones", said Gyaltsen.

Since the protests in 2008 Tibet has been widely sealed off for tourists as well as media and members of the international community. Gyaltsen explained that the situation inside Tibet is one of constant fear and anxiety.

Against this background, it is now of utmost importance that members of the international community issue strong messages of solidarity with the Tibetan people and to press China to open up Tibet.

China should no longer be allowed to have a free hand in Tibet. An international presence inside Tibet would have a restraining influence in the highly precarious situation.

The Parliamentary Group for Tibet assured that it will use all ways and means within the parliamentary structure to pressure the Swiss government to take-up the issue of Tibet within bilateral encounters with China as well as to raise the grave situation inside Tibet within the framework of international human rights bodies.