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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

MPs call for debate on Tibet issue in South African Parliament

September 19, 2010

September 17, 2010

Dharamsala, Sep. 17 -- Marking 50 years of
Tibetan Democracy in-exile, South African MPs
from opposition parties on Tuesday delivered four
statements on Tibet-related issues and called for debate in the Parliament.

The afternoon session was chaired by Speaker Max
Sisulu and was attended by government ministers.

More than eighty MPs wearing Tibetan ceremonial
scarves (Khatag) and about hundred supporters led
by South African Friends of Tibet (SAFT) were
present in the House gallery to witness the proceeding.

The IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party) MP Mr
Mario-Ambrosini, in his statement, said: "We
stand as friends of Tibet and as friends of China
at a time when China is leading a new scramble
for Africa. "China will not change its ways in
African until it changes its way in China. China
will not change its ways in China until it rights
its wrongs in Tibet. Tibet has become a turning point in history."

"We must turn the Tibetan issue into a new
unifying cause which can again bring together
democrats from across the world, as it happened
in the worldwide rejection of apartheid," he added.

He further said: "Tibet is asking for what all
Chinese deserve - limited autonomy and all
fundamental rights entrenched in the UN Universal
Declaration. This is what the 5th World
Parliamentarians Convention on Tibet not only
supported Tibetan autonomy and human rights but
also stressed how its aim was that of supporting
rather than antagonizing China."

Democratic Alliance MP Ms Santosh Vinita Kalyan
called on the government to grant Dalai Lama a
visa to visit South Africa “at a time of his choosing."

The Freedom Front+ MP Corne Mulder said, "We
would like to seriously call on ANC
representatives in the Parliament today to give
their support to the seeking of a peaceful
solution for the human rights abuses by the
Chinese government in Tibet, and the recognition
of Tibet’s right to self-determination."

Speaking to local media representatives at the
parliament premise shortly before the
proceedings, the IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu
Buthelezi said: "The issue of Tibet is becoming
quintessential to the process of democratization
in China. We appreciate the ever more important
role China is playing internationally and in the
political, social and economic arenas. For this
reason, we feel that the cause of mankind demands
of it to move speedily towards its democratization."

"The cause of Tibet is a matter of principle. It
is not a vote catcher, or an advancement in any
popularity contest. Throughout my life I have
paid huge prices, both at a personal and
political level, to stand by principle and do and
say what is right, irrespective of consequences.

"If we cannot find within ourselves the courage
to speak up against the atrocities committed
against the Tibetan people and in favor of
autonomy of Tibet, then we must accept that our
own democratic life is seriously ailing," Buthelezi added.
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