British Premier phones Chinese Premier on Tibet development, says will meet Dalai Lama during London visit

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the British Parliament on March 19, 2008 that he had telephoned Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao today calling for an end to the violence in Tibet. Addressing the Members of Parliament during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, Brown responded to a question by Rt Hon David Cameron(Con)saying, “I also called for constraint, and I called for an end to the violence by dialogue between the different parties.”

 

Prime Minister also announced that he would be meeting the Dalai Lama who is due to visit London in May.

Following is the full transcript of the Tibet Question in the House of Commons.

House of Commons
19 March 2008
PRIME MINISTER

The Prime Minister was asked:

Mr. David Cameron (Witney) (Con): The whole world will have been shocked by the pictures on television last night of the security crackdown and the dead bodies on the streets of Lhasa and other parts of Tibet. Does the Prime Minister agree with me that, yes, our relationship with China is vital, and China is a major power, but we must be absolutely clear in telling the Chinese Government that this is completely unacceptable?

The Prime Minister: I spoke to Premier Wen of China this morning, and I made it absolutely clear that there had to be an end to violence in Tibet. I hope that Members on both sides of the House will agree with that. I also called for constraint, and I called for an end to the violence by dialogue between the different parties. The Premier told me that subject to two things that the Dalai Lama has already said — that he does not support the total independence of Tibet and that he renounces violence — he would be prepared to enter into dialogue with the Dalai Lama. I will meet the Dalai Lama when he is in London. I think it is important that we all facilitate discussions, but the most important thing at the moment is to bring about an end to the violence, to see reconciliation, and to see legitimate talks taking place between those people in China.

Mr. Cameron: Can I congratulate the Prime Minister on making absolutely the right decision with regard to the Dalai Lama? It is a difficult decision, but it would not have been made any better by delaying it, and I congratulate him on doing the right thing.

The Prime Minister: We make the right decisions at all times.