The Norwegian Tibet Committee received yesterday the response from the Foreign Ministry to its request to the Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister to meet with the Dalai Lama. Foreign Minister responded that because there has been no political contact between Norway and China it will “not be right for Norwegian authorities to meet the Dalai Lama.”

The Norwegian Tibet Committee understands that this has been a difficult assessment to the government, but is disappointed with the decision and rationale.

– It is very unfortunate that the Foreign Ministry and the government has taken this decision. This shows that it pays to be rowdy when facing small countries and that China’s technique to punish other so-called independent nations seems working. Split and conquer still works, says leader of Tibet Committee, Tsomo Svenningsen.

The human rights situation in Tibet is worse than for many years. Over 130 Tibetans in recent years have set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese discrimination policy. Many of those who have immolated themselves also ask for the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet. Tibet Committee believes that it is especially important now that the world show their support for Tibet and the Tibet issue.

The Norwegian Tibet Committee is very pleased to see the great popular enthusiasm surrounding the Dalai Lama’s visit. We hope that people can use their commitment also to encourage their members of Parliament from all parties, including parliamentary president, to meet the Dalai Lama in Parliament.

The board of The Norwegian Tibet Committee