Brussels, 14 May - The three-day 5th International Conference of Tibet Support Groups came to an end with a concise action plan covering four areas of concern: political support for negotiations, human rights, environment & development and the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. "The action plan will galvanise the worldwide Tibet movement with new energy and enthusiasm", said Tempa Tsering, the Kalon for the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration.
The closing ceremony was addressed by Dr. h.c. Rolf Berndt, the Executive Chairman of the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung and by Mr. Sonam Phuntsok Monkhar, the Tibetan Member of Parlament elected from Europe. In his address Mr. Monkhar thanked the participants for the energy and enthusiasm they put into the conference.
The message of Betty Williams was read out. In her message, the Noble Laureate said, "Stand proud and strong, Tibetan people, for right not might is on your side. And when the governments of the so-called democratic and free world decide not to kowtow to the bullying of China's tyrannical leadership, Tibet and the people His Holiness loves so dearly may have their dream come true; the dream of a free, prosperous and peaceful Tibet."
In his vote of thanks Mr. Tempa Tsering said that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is fond of saying that in political terms the Tibet Support Groups around the world are the fourth refuge of the Tibetan people. He said that whenever the Tibetans pray they take refuge in the Buddha, the Sangha-the community of monks, and the Dharma-the teachings of the Buddha. Because of Tibet's sad political situation, the international community has thus become our fourth refuge.
The Fifth International Converence of Tibet Support Groups (TSGs) concluded today in Brussels. The international Tibet is a unique coalition of dedicated organizations and individuals who pool in their talent together to improve the human rights situation and to resolve the issue of Tibet. This time the converence brought 300 participants from 145 Tibet Support Groups and 36 Tibetan Associations from about 56 countries. The conclave alsor brought 12 Chinese supporters of the non-violent struggle of the Tibetan people.
This international gathering was convened by the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration in collaboration with Friedrich-Nauman-Stiftung, Germany, and co-hosted by the Belgian Inter-Parliamentary Group for Tibet.
The first Tibet Support Groups conference was held in Dharamsala in 1990, the second in Bonn in 1996, the third in Berlin in 2000 and the fourth Tibet Support Groups conference was held in Prague in 2003 and was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the presence of Vaclav Havel, the former President of Czech Republic.