November 18, 2014

The Question of Tibet: Does History Matter?

The Question of Tibet: Does History Matter?
The Question of Tibet: Does History Matter?
November 21, 2014 4:00 pm
November 21, 2014 6:00 pm
International Campaign for Tibet
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1825 Jefferson Place NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Michael van Walt van Praag
Visiting Professor of Modern International Relations and International Law in the School of Historical Studies at The Institute for Advanced Study

Matteo Mecacci
President, International Campaign for Tibet
4:00pm, Friday, November 21, 2014
Event is free and open to the public. Venue is not handicapped accessible
Please RSVP to or 202-785-8591

The International Campaign for Tibet
1825 Jefferson Place, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Metro system: Red line, Dupont Circle or Orange line, Farragut West
Questions and comments can be emailed to

One reason for the intractable nature of the Tibetan issue is the question about the historical status of Tibet. The Tibetans have one perspective of Tibet having been a distinct nation while the Chinese Government claims Tibet has been a part of China for centuries. Tibet’s strategic location has also meant that over the centuries, regional powers including China, Great Britain, Russia, etc. have sought to exert influence and control over it. Most international scholars agree that from 1911 until the Chinese invasion in 1949, Tibet was for all practical purposes an independent state by modern standards. Since then, Tibetans have struggled to regain their freedom and keep their culture intact. Michael van Walt van Praag, has written extensively on the status of Tibet and on intrastate conflict resolution. He is engaged in work on the causes of conflicts and obstacles to their resolution, focusing in particular on the ways in which history is perceived and mobilized by the antagonistic parties.

Michael van Walt will discuss these approaches in the context of Tibet and the question of history in the Tibetan situation.

Michael van Walt van Praag
Michael van Walt van Praag Michael van Walt van Praag is the Visiting Professor of Modern International Relations and International Law in the School of Historical Studies, at the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton and has held visiting teaching and research positions at Stanford, UCLA, Indiana, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the Golden Gate University School of Law. He is an international lawyer specializing in intra-state conflict resolution, has served as mediator in peace talks and as advisor to parties and international organizations in conflicts in various regions of the world and is currently Executive President of Kreddha, an international, non-governmental organization for the prevention and resolution of violent intra-state conflicts. Michael van Walt practiced law for a number of years in Washington D.C., London and San Francisco before becoming General Secretary of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) in the Hague, a position he held from 1991 to 1998. Michael van Walt has served as legal advisor to the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and is a member of ICT’s International Advisory Board.

Matteo Mecacci
Matteo MecacciMr. Matteo Mecacci, is President of the International Campaign for Tibet. Born in Firenze (Florence) Italy, Matteo Mecacci, studied International law at the University of Firenze. He represented the Transnational Radical Party and No Peace without Justice at the UN in New York from 2001 to 2008 and later served as a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies as well as an elected official of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly. In that capacity he participated in over 20 election observation missions, including as OSCE Special Coordinator in Serbia and Belarus in 2012. He was appointed head of mission of the OSCE/ODHIR election observation mission in Georgia in 2013. He served as Chairperson of the Italian Parliamentary Intergroup for Tibet, and in 2009, he organized the 5th World Parliamentarians Convention on Tibet in Rome. He was Co-chair of the International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet (INPaT) and played an active role in promoting Tibetan democracy in exile, and was a Co-Chair of the Tibetan Election Observation Mission in 2011.

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