Norwegian PEN is concerned that the Norwegian Parliament sets narrow business interests ahead of the interests of human rights and human dignity. We deeply regret that many of our leading politicians , who both previously met the Dalai Lama and supported Tibetan struggle for human rights now allows the pragmatic to overshadow the principal .
Norway has long been an important country in international peace and reconciliation work and rendered significant contributions to the promotion of human rights . To show respect to the Dalai Lama as a freedom fighter and for his peaceful efforts should be a question of honor, it concerns our self- respect and decency as a nation. It is by our own consistent behavior that respect for human dignity could also result in a long-term dialogue on human rights with China. It is therefore important that Norway, as a small nation, has the necessary courage and integrity to stand up to one of the largest and strongest economies in the world. Who would stand against China if not the country that awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and that, better than most other countires, can afford to bear the cost of being principled?
Norwegian PEN believes that Norway, as a country who dares to speak out, will have a positive significance in the long run, both for the peace prize, business relations, international peace efforts and general relations with China – but first and foremost for freedom of expression and other human rights.
On this background, the Board of Norwegian PEN strongly urge the Norwegian government to meet the Dalai Lama during his visit to Norway in May.
28 April 2014