Press Release
August 28, 2010

Dalai Lama asks Miriam to form local Tibet Support Group

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago was asked by the regional representative of the Dalai Lama to spearhead Tibet Support Group (TSG) activities in the country.

Lhakpa Tshoko, Representative of the Dalai Lama for Japan and East-Asia, wrote a letter to Santiago dated 25 August 2010 seeking her active involvement in forming and heading TSG initiatives in the country.

"As a longtime advocate for Tibet, I am honored to accept this request. I am confident that the Tibet Support Group in the Philippines will be of great help to the cause," Santiago said.

Tshoko said that the TSG from the Philippines will participate in the upcoming 6th International Conference of Tibet Support Groups at Surajkund, Haryana, India from November 5 to 7, 2010. The conference will be headed by the Indian TSG, and will be facilitated by the Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration, Dharamsala, India.

Santiago also said that she will launch an online campaign to find participants for the TSG who will attend the conference.

Tshoko met Santiago during the 5th World Parliamentarian's Convention on Tibet last November in Rome, Italy. In his letter, Tshoko recalled Santiago suggesting the idea of organizing a study group in Manila where he could give a talk on Tibet and the Tibetan situation.

With advocates from different countries, Tibet Support Groups espouse the Tibetan people in their struggle for autonomy and religious freedom within the People's Republic of China.

Many observers believe Santiago did not get the China vote for her World Court candidacy, because she is identified as a Tibet supporter. She met the Dalai Lama in Rome last November 29.

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