The European Parliament is today expected to call on the government of Nepal to respect the rights of exiled Tibetans living in the country, allowing them to vote in their own internal elections. "Freedom of speech and the right to vote are universal human rights. Nepal must not give in to pressure from Beijing and must allow the 20.000 Tibetans in the country to exercise their right to vote for their government in exile", the chairman of the European Parliament's cross-party intergroup on Tibet, German MEP Thomas Mann (EPP) said.
The European Parliament's resolution, which has the support of all major political groups in the House, will be formally adopted at 4pm CET today. The draft text calls on Nepalese authorities to "refrain from preventive arrests and restrictions on demonstrations and freedom of speech" of the country's Tibetan community. Furthermore, it urges the government of Nepal to include these basic rights as well as the freedom of religion in the country's new constitution, due to be enacted by 28 May 2011.
"The EU has to closely monitor the situation in Nepal and make sure the government respects the fundamental rights of the Tibetan community. The EU's High Representative on foreign affairs, Catherine Ashton, has to confront the governments of Nepal and China with this question", Thomas Mann said.