Italy's German-speaking minority in solidarity with Tibetans
( dpa ) - A political party representing Italy's mostly German-speaking Bolzano (Bozen) province, appealed Monday to the autonomous Alpine province's population to show their solidarity with the plight of the Tibetan people.
"We are calling on all South Tyroleans to send letters of protest to the Chinese embassies in Vienna and Rome," South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) President Elmar Pichler Rolle said in a statement posted on the party's website.
Earlier Monday Pichler Rolle and other leaders of the SVP met with a delegation from Tibet's "Parliament-in-Exile" led by its president, Karma Choepel.
Pichler Rolle said that in the talks with the Tibetan delegation, Alto Adige's "valuable" experience as an autonomous region was discussed as an example of safeguarding the rights of ethnic minorities.
The German speaking population of the Bolzano province which borders Austria enjoys extensive language and cultural rights. In some of the province's municipalities the less spoken Ladin language also has official status.