Ottawa, April 5, 2004: More than half the Canadian Parliament - 151 members of parliament from all parties and all regions of Canada - have now endorsed an appeal to Canada�s Prime Minister that he become personally involved in the Tibet-China negotiation process.
"This is an important milestone for our campaign", said Thubten Samdup, National President of the Canada Tibet Committee. "The Canadian people have sent a clear message to their Parliamentary representatives and those representatives have now sent a clear message to the Prime Minister of Canada".
Prime Minister Martin himself has placed considerable importance on the role of parliament in setting his policies. In his leadership acceptance speech to the Canadian people, Martin said "We govern with the consent of the people� your member of Parliament must be your messenger to Ottawa, not Ottawa�s messenger to you."
The Tibet-China dialogue had been stalled for almost a decade since 1993, but two recent delegations to Beijing and Tibet have renewed hope that a formalized negotiation process might soon be possible. Several world leaders have urged Chinese authorities to actively engage in a negotiation process with the Dalai Lama and there is growing sentiment within China that the issue should be resolved sooner rather than later.
"The Prime Minister is presented with a unique opportunity to positively influence the Tibet-China negotiation process," Samdup added. "Not only is the timing right, but the Canadian people and their Parliament are clearly supportive of his involvement."
The Canada Tibet Committee has requested that Prime Minister Martin meet with the Dalai Lama during his visit to Ottawa April 21-24, 2004. The Prime Minister has indicated that he is considering such a meeting.
The Canada Tibet Committee is an independent non-governmental organization of Tibetans and non-Tibetans living in Canada who are concerned about the continuing human rights violations and lack of democratic freedoms in Tibet.
For more information about the Dalai Lama�s visit to Ottawa, visit www.tibet.ca.