DHARAMSHALA: The Hu
man Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan, a coalition of various human rights NGOs based in Taiwan, held its first press conference at Lhakpa Tsering hall today to announce its collaboration with the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile through institution of All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet in the Taiwan Parliament and various startup projects with Tibetan settlement offices in India.
Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan (HRNTT) is a coalition comprising Taiwan-based NGOs with diverse human rights concerns. Its members include Tibetan and Taiwanese social activists, college professors, writers, students and legislators, who have been a long-time supporters of the Tibetan cause. A total of 11 members were present at the press conference, including two legislators: Tshiong-tso Lim, Legislator and founding leader of New Power Party and Kolas Yotaka, Legislator of Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan.
Addressing the media, founder of the Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan, Mr Tashi Tsering announced, “The members of Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan is pleased to announce its collaboration with the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile through institution of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet in the Taiwanese Parliament, to bolster support and understanding for Tibet at the highest levels.”
Speaking on new projects and collaborations with the Tibetan settlements in India, Professor Song-Lih Huang, Secretary General of Taiwan International Medical Alliance and Convenor of Convenants Watch stated, ”We have formalized a few concrete projects, focused on creating education opportunities for Tibetan students to study in Taiwan in post graduate programs. The HRNTT will communicate with the Taiwan government in order to reduce barriers for Tibetan students to pursue postgraduate education in Taiwan.”
“The second project is to publish a Tibetan newspaper for children in Tibetan settlements across India. The objective is to encourage Tibetan children to preserve their language and to provide them platforms to develop their skills and ability.”
Legislator Kolas Yotaka, representative of indigenous peoples of Taiwan, Democratic Progressive Party, expressed her strong support and empathy towards the Tibetan people. “As a member of Indigenous Peoples in Taiwan who had to endure the oppression of the Han imperialism, we feel strongly connected with the Tibetan brothers and sisters. We have been working on drafting Tibetan related acts to protect the legal rights for Tibetans in Taiwan.” She is currently working on amending immigration acts to ease the citizenship norms for Tibetans living in Taiwan.
She has also proposed to abolish of the Mongolian Tibetan Affairs Commission (MTAC) in order “to allow the Tibetan leadership to communicate directly with Taiwan, without succumbing to pressures from China and to abolish the symbol of colonialism.”
Tshiong-tso Lim, also known as Freddy Lim, Legislator of New Power Party and a long time Tibet supporter spoke about the renewed support for Tibetan cause in the Taiwanese parliament. “The civil society in Taiwan has always been concerned with Tibetan cause, however the government in the past have opted for silence. This has changed because new political parties have gathered power and achieved the first change of power in Taiwan’s parliament. As a demonstration of good will, and commitment for further efforts towards Tibetans, we are organizing an All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan.” He declared that the institution of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet will be finalized in the upcoming parliament session on 13 September.
“In the meantime,” he added, “We extended our invitation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to visit Taiwan, and hope that his Holiness can deliver a speech in the parliament.”
The members of HRNTT met His Holiness the Dalai Lama earlier today in a private audience. They also had a brief meeting with Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, Tibetan parliamentarians, officials of CTA and members of the various Tibetan NGOs based in Dharamshala.
Mr Lobsang Dakpa, member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, was also present at the press conference. He will coordinate future interaction and collaboration between the two parliaments. He will also assist collaborations between various Tibetan and Taiwanese NGOs.
The 11-member delegation are: Mr Tashi Tsering, President, Taiwan Welfare Association and founder of HRNTT; Prof Hao-Jen Wu, executive board member, Taiwan Association for Human Rights; Eeling Chiu, Secretary General, Taiwan Association for Human Rights; Prof Song-Lih Huang, Convenor of Convenants Watch, Taiwan; Yibee Huang, CEO of Convenants Watch; Prof Shu-Ya Lin, Deputy President, Amnesty International, Taiwan sector; Hsinyi Lin, executive director, Taiwan Alliance to end the Dealth Penalty; Kolas Yotaka, Legislator, Taiwan, New Power Party and her assistant Si-Han Lu; Freddy Lim, Legislator, Taiwan, New Power Party and his assistant Ting-Yu Chang.