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Exile Tibetan leader calls Tibet an occupied territory at a rights-group organized event

Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay speaking at Freedom House, 11 February 2016. (Photo courtesy: Tibet.net)
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay speaking at Freedom House, 11 February 2016. (Photo courtesy: Tibet.net)

(TibetanReview.net, Feb16’16) – The executive head of the exile Tibetan administration at Dharamshala, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, on Feb 11 addressed the media, scholars and activists at an event organized by Freedom House in Washington DC. The US-based international rights organization had in its recent annual report graded the political rights and civil liberties situation in Chinese ruled Tibet as among the very worst in the world.

Speaking on the topic of ‘Tibet: Intensified Crackdown, Popular Resistance’, he described Tibet as an occupied territory characterized by economic marginalization, social discrimination, political repression, environmental destruction and cultural assimilation of the local Tibetan population.

“Almost 75% of the businesses are owned by Chinese businessmen. These businessmen in turn employ mostly Chinese workers and staff, creating a vicious cycle which induces more migration into Tibet,” he was quoted as saying by way of an example. He said Tibetans were becoming a minority in their own land.

He also said Tibetans were being forced to carry with them a card under a high-tech surveillance system, officially known as the grid system of social management, while profiles the Tibetan people wherever they go. The card is embedded with a second generation microchip and contains detailed information about its bearer and his biometrics. “When the card is swiped, authorities would know exactly where the particular Tibetan is from and his biography,” he was quoted as saying.

He also criticized China’s ban on photos of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and reiterated his commitment to seeking a middle way solution for the issue of Tibet – an autonomously governed territory under Chinese rule rather than independence.

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