The following detail was released to the press on 30 November 2010 and summarizes the Bath 27th November event
A message of peaceful engagement with the Chinese on a personal level was given to over 50 people who attended a talk by Thubten Samdup at Manvers St. Baptist Church, Bath on 27th November. Mr Samdup, who is the representative of the Tibetan Government in Exile and the Dalai Lama in Europe, stated that there may be as many as 20,000 Chinese students in the UK which provides an opportunity for constructive dialogue.He related his experience to the audience of over 30 years as a non-violent protester in Canada where he shouted "Free Tibet, China out, until I was blue in the face!" which he said achieved great sympathy and support amongst ordinary people but little political change in China. He said that time is running out for the Tibetans as some of the 150,000 refugees are third generation and that meaningful change needs to be achieved in the next 15 years.
"Tibet has many friends in the West..." he said, ".. but since 2002 there have been 9 rounds of talks between the exiled Tibetans and the Chinese Government which have not produced results because the Chinese Government are not interested." In the past,Mr Samdup has faced audiences in the UK that are overwhelmingly Chinese but has been able to initiate debate that fosters sincere understanding. "When ordinary Chinese are engaged on a personal level,they are shocked at their government's response." He went on to say, "The Chinese Students in the UK today will be the politicians and business leaders of tomorrow in China, it's vital that they are made more aware of the issues". He explained that ordinary Chinese are being contacted by the Exiled Tibetan Governmentusing online chat rooms based in China as well as using other web technology. He further stated it's in the interests of the rest of the world that a non-violent peaceful resolution is found that allows exiled Tibetans to return to Tibet.
Mr Samdup was questioned for more than an hour by the audience who raised topics as diverse as using sport to promote the Tibetan cause, to possible legal actions in the courts. The meeting was jointly Sponsored by The Tibet Society in London and the Bath District Tibet Support Group. You can see the full filmed meeting on bathdisttibet.blogspot.com