Prague: Democratically elected President of the Central Tibetan Administration Sikyong Penpa Tsering highlighted Tibet and the strategic role the European Union should play in protecting the basic human rights of Tibetans at his first engagement with Forum 2000 from 31 August to 2 September in Prague, Czech Republic.
This year’s Forum 2000 theme was Democracy’s Clear and Present Danger: How Do We Respond? Speaking on the panel titled “China ahead of the CCP Congress: Perspective for Human Rights?” Sikyong highlighted that the situation in Tibet continues to remain grave. He noted that Xi Jinping has increasingly become insecure and despotic, strategically concentrating all the powers in his hands without any room for dissent. Sikyong Penpa Tsering also noted that there is a need for democratisation of China and to achieve this the international community should view the Tibetans, Uighurs, Hong Kongers and Southern Mongolians not as victims but as partners. Sikyong further called upon the European Union to appoint special representations on Tibet in particular and China in general which would facilitate the Tibetans, Uighurs, Hong Kongers, Southern Mongolians and other peoples under Chinese rule to approach the EU as a whole. This would also facilitate the EU to have a coherent policy on China.
Sikyong was joined by Executive Director of Campaign for Uyghurs Rushan Abbas and Founder and President of the Campaign for Hong Kong Samuel Chu as co-panelists. The Panel was moderated by journalist Katerina Prochaykova from Sinopsis.
On the sidelines of the Forum 2000, Sikyong had brief interactions and meetings with several dignitaries including the Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Fiala, Czech Republic Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky, EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore, Canadian Ambassador to Czech Republic Ayesha P. Rekhi, Czech Ambassador to the European Union Edita Hrda, Former Slovakian Prime Minister Iveta Radicova and Former Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic.
This year the Forum 2000 had a special session on Ukraine with a special live address from the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Forum 2000 is an annual conference which brings together world leaders, diplomats, human rights activists, intellectuals, civil societies etc. to discuss democracy, freedom and human rights.