March 29, 2008

EU foreign ministers' statement on Tibet

One-third of something is better than a half of nothing. It is only if we adopt such an attitude of mind that the following statement approved today by the 27 foreign ministers of the European Union can be regarded as a good thing:

"The 27 ministers for foreign affairs of the EU and the (European) Commission discussed the situation in Tibet.
"They reiterated their strong concern over the events in the autonomous Chinese region of Tibet. The EU condemns all violence and pays its respect to the victims.
"It calls for an end to the violence and asks that arrested persons be treated in conformity with international standards.
"It wishes to uphold the transparency of information and hence free access by the press to Tibet.
"The EU notes the Dalai Lama's recent public commitment to non-violence and to the autonomy, not independence of Tibet. It calls for substantive and constructive dialogue which addresses core issues like preservation of the Tibetan language, culture, religion and traditions.
The European Union will continue to pay close attention to the human rights situation in China."

The statement came just after His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet—speaking at a news conference in New Delhi—appealed to the world community to “please help” resolve the crisis in his Country. “We have no power except justice, truth, sincerity... that is why I appeal to the world community to please help,” he said.

In turn, the Dalai Lama's appeal came a day after US President George W. Bush for the first time publicly pressed China to hold talks with representatives of the spiritual leader after raising concerns about the turmoil in Tibet.

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