The 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile convened its 6th session on September 19, 2023. Photo: TPiE

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Dharamshala, India — The 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile convened its 6th session on September 19, 2023, with a bill on official solidarity on urgent situation inside Tibet. The Speaker of Parliament urged everyone to raise the issue of Tibet on the international stage, as Tibetans inside Tibet are living in almost hellish conditions.

The first day of the sixth session (General session) of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) was held on September 19, 2023 at the Parliament Hall of TPiE, Gnagkyi, Dharamshala, H.P., India. Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel and Deputy Speaker Dolma Tsering Teykhang of the TPiE, Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration, Ministers and 44 the parliamentarians gathered in the hall and sang the Tibetan national anthem.

In his opening speech, Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, briefed the assembly on the activities of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, including regular visits by parliamentarians to Tibetan settlements and communities, three rounds of strategic meetings of the Tibetan Parliament, the Parliament's Tibet advocacy programmes in various states of India and abroad. During their visits abroad, they met MPs and political leaders, raised issues relating to human rights violations in Tibet by Chinese government and urged the international community to support the Tibetan cause.

He added that the purpose of the visit to the Tibetan communities was to inform them about the functioning of the Tibetan Parliament, the legacy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and to prepare a report on their grievances and demands, which would then be sent to the cabinet of the CTA. Stressing the importance of raising awareness about Tibet not only among Indian politicians but also among Indian citizens, the MPs were divided into 11 groups and visited different states of India. They met the political leaders of these states, as well as university students.

He called on MPs and people to keep in mind three important things when doing something for Tibet: firstly, think of the Tibetan people inside Tibet; secondly, think of the Central Tibetan Administration; and thirdly, think of ways to internationalise the Tibetan issue and raise awareness of human rights violations and abuses in Tibet. He added that Tibetans inside Tibet live in very harsh conditions, like a hell without fundamental rights or freedom, where Tibetan writers are arrested, beaten and imprisoned by the Chinese authorities for writing in the Tibetan language.

He added that as a result of the Chinese government's repressive policies, 157 Tibetans have immolated themselves for the cause of Tibetan independence and demanded the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama back to Tibet. The Chinese government is misinterpreting the living conditions of Tibetans by hiding the truth. He called on the Chinese government to listen to the real demands of Tibetans inside Tibet.