(TibetanReview.net, May11, 2018) – A delegation of so-called lawmakers of China’s rubberstamp parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), representing the Tibet Autonomous Region concluded a four-day visit to Canada on May 10 and it included a meeting with Tibetans living in Ottawa and Toronto, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency May 10.
It was not clear, however, which Tibetans, if at all, the delegation met with and what matters they discussed.
According to the Oslo-based Voice of Tibet radio news service, reporting on May 9, the delegation faced some hard-hitting questions from Canadian lawmakers during their meeting in Ottawa. The lawmakers were reported to have asked if the delegation had met with Tibetans in the country. However, the report did not say what the Chinese delegation’s response was to this question.
Members of the Canadian parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, with which the delegation had the meeting, were reported to have asked a number of pointed questions, including on human rights, the Tibetan language rights activist Tashi Wangchuk, the Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and Sino-Tibetan dialogue.
Delegation leader Baima Wangdui, deputy to the People’s Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region and member of the Tibetan regional party standing committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), was reported to have said the Panchen Lama was alive, in good health, living a happy life as an ordinary Chinese citizen after completing his education, and that he and his family did not wish any outside contact.
The delegation’s response to all the questions was the standard official lines which admitted of no further questioning.
A Committee member pointed out that none of the delegates from the Tibet Autonomous Region spoke in Tibetan while drawing attention to the marginalization of the Tibetan language and the threats to the Tibetan cultural identity.
The delegation’s main purpose was to explain that under the guidance of Chinese President Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era “Tibetans are working with the rest of the Chinese to move towards the grand goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects and to strive for the realization of the ‘two centenary goals’.”