Dalai Lama spokesman says Denmark weak on Tibet

A spokesman for the Dalai Lama said he is disappointed that Denmark’s foreign minister did not call for more forceful intervention on Tibet during this week’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart.

Tubten Samdrup, of the Tibet North European Office, told Berlingske newspaper that it is unacceptable that several Tibetan monks and nuns have felt forced to set fire to themselves in protest at Chinese harassment in recent months. Just last week, before the meeting between Villy Sovndal and Yang Jeichi, 20 year-old Tenzin Wanmo made the dramatic self sacrifice in western China.

“I am disappointed because it is worrying to see people commit suicide. The international community must put pressure on the Chinese on the issue and Denmark had a unique possibility as China’s foreign minister was in the country,” Thubten Samdrup said. “How many nuns and monks have to commit suicide before the world wakes up.”

Samdrup, whose organisation claims to be the official agency ‘of the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration in-exile in Northern Europe, the Baltic States and Poland’, apparently wrote to Sonvdal after the latest suicide and asked him to address the issue in his meeting with Jeichi. According to Berlingske, the subject of self-immolation did not come up during the talks.

Sovndal, however, told reporters that human rights and religious freedoms were discussed in reference to the Tibetan minority.

“In concrete terms we discussed Tibet, we discussed human rights in general. I mentioned our view that we would like to see more autonomy in Tibet, greater cultural and religious freedom, a wish that China was more ambitious in connection with human rights in general, the EU’s views on the death penalty and the suchlike,” he said.

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